Open source software has been at the heart of several of the most significant innovations related to cloud computing, smart devices and data analytics. Google recently recognized this fact by pledging its commitment not to file suit over its open source technology patents unless first provoked by a separate entity.
"While open platforms have faced growing patent attacks, requiring companies to defensively acquire ever more patents, we remained committed to an open internet - one that protects real innovation and continues to deliver great products and services," Duane Vaiz, Google senior patent counsel, explained.
Vaiz is hoping companies across the technology sector will adopt a similar approach to patent management. In his opinion, publicly disclosed pledges promote greater transparency, can be customized to any specific breadth and remain in force even if the patents are ultimately transferred.
Twitter may have actually sparked the idea for this strategy, but according to Wired, the implications of Google's moves are likely more significant by comparison. The search giant's primary open source creation, Hadoop, is built into the data centers of Facebook, Yahoo, eBay and countless other leading firms. As a result, Google's permissive pledge assures their continued innovation.