Feeds

Google shields open source cloud tech from patent trolls

Adds 79 infrastructure patents to non-aggression IP chest

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Google has moved to protect developers of data center management software by adding more patents to its Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge.

By adding the 79 patents, Google is signalling that it will not prosecute people for making apps that involve these technologies unless they sue Google first, the company said on Thursday.

The Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge was created by Google in March as a way for the tech giant to guarantee it wouldn't unleash its lawyers on companies producing or dealing with free or open source software that infringed on the patents. At launch, the pledge covered 10 patents relating to Hadoop, and now it includes broader ones for infrastructure management.

"These [79] patents cover software used to efficiently operate data centers, including middleware, distributed storage management, distributed database management, and alarm monitoring," the company's senior patent counsel Duane Valz wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

"Open-source software is also transforming the development of consumer products that people use every day – so stay tuned for additional extensions to patents covering those sorts of technologies," Valz wrote.

Google had acquired the patents from IBM and CA Technologies. Of the 79 patents, 10 involve distributed storage management, 19 alarm monitoring, 46 middleware, and 4 distributed database management.

Many of the patents appear to have broad applicability to a range of modern open source applications. For example, the "System and method of storing backup image catalog" patent "relates to creating, storing, and utilizing virtual images of a catalog for backup and recovery".

Other companies that have protected open-source projects from fiery patent wrath include Microsoft promising not to go after Project Mono, and other moves by companies such as Red Hat and IBM. The legal cowboys over at Texan hosters Rackspace have even gone on the offensive lately by targeting "the most notorious patent troll in America" with a lawsuit.

Though Google is making the right noises in terms of openness, the 89 patents now protected by the ONF represent a drop in the Chocolate Factory's ocean of over 50,000 patents.

The real test for the pledge will be if a company appears that makes open source technologies that fall under these patents, and then goes on to, let's say, sit at the heart of self-driving cars, augmented reality glasses, and data analytics software stacks. How far might Google's benevolence stretch then, we wonder. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.