Online library

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The OSDL is hosting an online patent commons library supported by industry leaders including IBM, Intel, Novell, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems to help protect open source software.

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has launched its online patent commons reference library, the foundation of its Patent Commons Project. The Project’s goal is to provide greater confidence for developers and customers of all open source software.

Many institutions, companies, and inventors wish to signal formally to the open source software industry that software patents they hold are not a threat to the development, distribution or use of open source software or open standards.

Patent pledges and covenants – legally enforceable promises not to enforce patents under certain terms and conditions – eliminate the need for individual agreements and simplify the process by which access to patented technology can be granted.

The new OSDL site,, hosts searchable databases containing more than 500 patents pledged to date and more than a dozen technical standards supported by such patent pledges and covenants.

The library is available to developers, users and vendors, where they can view information about patents and technology pledges.

OSDL itself was formed to accelerate the growth and adoption of Linux. Founded in 2000 by CA, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel and NEC, it is a non-profit organization supported by a consortium of more than 60 of the world’s largest Linux customers and IT industry leaders.