These days it seems every time the word ‘patent’ is mentioned it is usually followed by ‘lawsuit.’ In a refreshing change of pace, Google is doing just the opposite. Today the company has taken the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, which states that they will not take legal action against distributors and developers of open-source software.
But this doesn’t give devs free-reign over Google’s entire patent library. For now, the OPN Pledge applies to 10 specific patents within the MapReduce framework. For the general public, the specifics aren’t important (the patents have to do with “a computing model for processing large data sets”), but Google’s openness to allowing the use of patented software is.
Google hopes to expand the pledge to cover more patents as time goes on and is urging other patent holders to join them in their cause. It is a nobel one, indeed.
[via Google Open Source Blog]