The Open Invention Network (OIN) yesterday announced that it had acquired 22 Linux-focused patents that had been marketed and sold by Microsoft. The patents had recently been purchased by Allied Security Trust (AST).
"Microsoft is understood to have approached different organizations in an attempt to sell the 22, including companies euphemistically known as non-practicing entities, or patent trolls," writes The Register's Gavin Clarke. "Such companies typically hold patents with a view to making money through enforcement."
"I'm left wondering just how much protection OIN scored for Linux with the purchase of these 22 3D graphics patents," writes CNET's Matt Asay. "If the patents were core to Microsoft, it wouldn't have sold them for simply the off-chance that the patents might eventually find their way to a litigious patent troll… I suspect that the patents truly weren't very important to Microsoft. This doesn't mean their value to OIN is diminished, but it's probably not time to uncork the champagne at the 'coup' scored at the local patent yard sale."