Open Source Patent Commons

By Blane Warrene

The announcement by the Open Source Development Labs further reinforces an observation made in my previous post on the forthcoming new GPL version3.

This should go a long way to continue to expand the integration of proven development solutions into open source projects. It does not hurt that power players such as IBM, RedHat, Nokia, Sun and Novell are a part of the OSDL. It also embraces the fact that service driven companies rather than software licensing companies are making money.

Granted – there are I am sure some critical patents these folks may be holding back and making serious money on – but they are starting to put themoney where there mouths are.

The success of Linux and open source solutions is (not anything new to open source users – I know) largely about expertise, understanding of a client’s business sector and service/support.

While earlier business models built on this may have failed in the 90’s – the failure was more about greed in companies who took free software and thought they would make kabillions on the backs of unassuming consumers of services. What businesses based on open source now see is that their passion for the use of open source as a solution is reflected in their presentation and careful work and sells on merit and follow through.

Trying not to spill over into Andrew’s turf – it is more about the relationships we build with customers, partners and vendors and less about the fact that it is Linux or open source. Our belief and credibility is established on the proving grounds of showing our solutions work and provide efficiencies and economic gain. This makes the conversation and ultimately a sale about and of open source opportunities, normally still foreign to many customers, that much easier to execute.

  • Etnu

    It’s nice that IBM et. all are helping now, but it’s foolish to not look at their alterior motives.

  • aneitlich


    I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph. In fact, one of my start-ups right now shifted from a Java Struts custom application (too expensive, too inflexible for our changing requirements) to use of a variety of open source modules. As our key to success is about marketing, content, and value proposition to customers — and as proprietary technology is secondary to that — open source is ideal.

    Indeed, our technology partner is making great money helping us research and develop the best solutions based on open source.

    So, everyone wins.



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