Google Promises Not to Sue the Open Source Community over Patents

While more and more tech companies are suing each other every day, Google has taken the unusual step of promising not sue—at least in certain cases.

On Thursday, Google posted its Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, in which it vowed not to “bring a lawsuit or other legal proceeding” against those using, developing or distributing open source software covered by OPN patents. Initially, the list of OPN patents includes 10 MapReduce patents, which are related to Hadoop.

However, Google did not promise not to sue companies that violate its patents with proprietary technology.

Google’s senior patent counsel Duane Valz wrote, “We hope the OPN Pledge will provide a model for companies looking to put their own patents into the service of open-source software, which continues to enable amazing innovation.”

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