Google puts just 10 patents under the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge

Google puts just 10 patents under the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge
This isn't the first time that Google has promised not to use its patent portfolio offensively, but to only use it in defense against lawsuits, but it is the first time that Google has announced it would be part of the official Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. The OPN Pledge states that Google won't use these patents offensively specifically against open-source software. The only trouble is that there are just 10 patents that Google has put in the pledge.

Don't get us wrong. It's a great gesture, and more than we've seen from lawsuit happy companies like Apple and Samsung, but for comparison's sake, when Microsoft took a similar pledge, it put quite a lot more than just ten patents in the promise. IBM pledged 500, and Sun pledged 1,600, when those companies took the same pledge back in 2005 (of course that pledge didn't cover the patents Oracle eventually used to sue Google). Google has promised to expand the patents covered by this pledge.

Impressively, according to the announcement, Google says the OPN Pledge will remain in effect for the life of each patent even if Google no longer owns the patents. Google is hoping that this pledge "will serve as a model for the industry." 

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11 Comments

1. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Even when Google does something good, it's not good enough for PA, the slant on this article is so iOSvious... lol, Apple does nothing but crap on their customers with highest margins, behind the times tech, same ol same ol year after year but nothing but love from PA :(

2. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

The article writer called Apple lawsuit happy....how is this slanted towards Apple? I agree with the article that 10 isnt the same as what others offered....but its a start.

3. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

As I've said many times before, people will find bias where they want, no matter what they have to ignore in the process.

4. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I thought it was pretty established that compared to other companies out there that Google is very light in the patent saddlebags. That's why they bought Moto, patents right? Looking at it from a percentage equivalent, their ten patents is probably similar to the percentage of patents put up by the likes of MS, IBM, Sun, etc. My ponderance, is this: Are these ten patents actually relevant patents or are they fluff pieces just to put their name on the list of contributors to OPN?

5. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Still Google hates AGPL.

6. papss unregistered

While not many it's still some...I doubt that their ten is even remotely close percentage wise... Way to spin it a bit

7. Hemlocke unregistered

Somehow I see this playing out just like the Open Handset Alliance behind Android. Ask Acer how that worked for them. This is a lot of pomp and circumstance for something that is not what it seems, as usual. It is comparable to the U.S. proposing a nuclear weapons treaty with Russia while developing a super nuke.

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Do you even know the story behind that? Acer entered into that agreement of their own free will, and then violated it. Put simply, by entering into it, they get access to android and all of Google's services, as long as they promise not to fork android. Acer's phone forked android, and they were told they could go ahead with it, but without Google's services, or cancel the phone if they wanted to continue to have access to them. They could've forgone the services, just like Amazon did, but Acer doesn't have the ecosystem that Amazon does. As far as Google's stance on android in the OHA, you can do anything you want to android, change it to the point that it's unrecognizable, but if you do, you lose Google's services. The reason is to cut down on fragmentation. If android is changed to much from it's stock state you'd have to cook up a custom build for each update, which lengthens the time it takes to get the update to the end user. The whole point of the OHA was to try to get updates to the end user for a certain period of time in a timely manner. No one forced a gun to Acer's head to enter into the OHA, they could've went with windows, but they didn't. Now they're angry because they did something that violated their agreement and are paying for it. How is that Google's fault? If Google had let them get by with it what message does that send to the other OHA members? The moral is, if you enter into an agreement you need to abide by it or there will be consequences.

12. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Hey everyone, it is Mr. Apple.

9. Aeires unregistered

Back in 2005, the patent lawsuits weren't out of hand like they are today.

11. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

How many did Apple pledge?

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