It took one troll to unite them and at the end of the of the decade bind them. Sorry Mr. Tolkein. Back in college I did a report on a story called the “The Patent, Used as a Sword“. I recommend the read. Well in an interesting turn of events IBM, the Linux Foundation, and Microsoft, have all joined OIN. OIN, you know, the Open Invention Network. Think of a funny accent, when you have something you OIN it.
Jokes aside, patent trolling is a very real thing that can affect everyone. From the small inventor to an international entity they can crawl up from under a bridge to create a legal toll. The Inquirer has reported on how all three have become members of OIN to help facilitating in defending programmers and code. I admit that this sword can be used in a number of ways but entities such as this can be beneficial for all.
The Inquirer has explained that OIN tries to use methods of least aggression as much as possible, which is also a benefit to the courts as well. They also have some nice mitigation strategies such as trying to get members to share patents and IP’s. There’s some incentives as well such as potentially free royalties. Sounds like becoming a member can be a good thing for just about anyone.