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Univention joins the Open Invention Network

05-04-2011 05:23 PM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: Univention GmbH

Users can count on the further development of Linux products with less worry

The Open Source software manufacturer Univention has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) industry consortium. The aim of the Open Invention Network is to create a collection point for patents, which are only available to such companies and persons who undertake not to enforce their own patent rights against Linux. Univention’s joining the OIN provides the Bremen-based software house with the possibility to use the patented technology without paying licence fees and provides users with improved long term legal security.

Bremen, 03.05.2011 Univention, manufacturer of the Linux infrastructure solution Univention Corporate Server (UCS) and other solutions has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN). The OIN was founded by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony in 2005 and now counts industry giants like Google and Oracle among its associate members. The member companies have funded the purchase ofnumerous Linux associated software patents, and cross licensed their own Linux associated software patents to the OIN. These are available to all members of the organisation without the need to pay licence fees. Other parties are only granted access to these technologies once they have guaranteed that they will not enforce their own patent rights against Linux. As many of the patents held by the OIN are of fundamental importance to the IT industry, this patent collection reduces the possibility of implementing legal proceedings against Linux.

Advantages for the legally secure further development of Univention products

Univention’s joining the OIN provides the customers of the Bremen-based Open Source provider with two main advantages: for one thing, the OIN provides protection against claims that Univention has inadvertently infringed patents. This increases the legal security of the Univention users. For another thing, the Bremen-based software manufacturer can utilise a large number of Linuxrelevant software patents from other OIN member companies without paying licence fees. This will both simplify and accelerate the development of existing and future Univention products.

Univention itself does not have any software patents of its own. On its own accord and not as a requirement of its OIN membership, Univention also undertakes not to register any software patents in the future. “In a world where there is intense debate about the efficacy of software patents and their effect on innovators, we join organisations such as OIN to help provide protection in order to concentrate on the development of innovative and open products", explained Peter Ganten, Managing Director of Univention.

"Univention's UCS is an important European Linux distribution focused on the needs of enterprise IT infrastructures. Given this, we are pleased to have Univention join OIN as a licensee.” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “By doing so, Univention affirms that it values the openness and collaborative culture of the open source community. We applaud their decision.”

Furthermore, Univention feels obliged to provide the community with the program code for its improvements and further developments to Linux, particularly to Debian, as Open Source software. The Bremen-based software manufacturer sees the continually growing distribution of Linux and Open Source software, particularly in the professional environment, as proof of how Open Source functions as a model for the development of software and an accordingly structured IT business.

Further information
Open Invention Network (OIN):

More information on the OIN licence, the use of software patents without paying licence fees and on the obligation of all members to provide their Linux-relevant patents as well can be found at:

Linux and Open Source organisations supported by Univention:

Univention is a leading European provider of Open Source products for the cost-efficient operation and effective administration of IT infrastructures. At the heart of our offer is the Linux infrastructure solution Univention Corporate Server (UCS). UCS is a modern enterprise Linux distribution with an integrated Open Source solution for identity and infrastructure management, which makes efficient, centrally controlled administration possible even in challenging environments. The core product UCS is complemented with, among other things, products building on it for the cross-platform administration of thin clients, an Open Source desktop for professional users and an integrated server and desktop virtualisation solution. Thanks to the supplied connectors, the products are ideal for use with for example the Microsoft Active Directory, integrate perfectly in existing infrastructures and allow simple migration An increasing number of software manufacturers, including the groupware manufacturers Open-Xchange and Zarafa and the ECM manufacturers Agorum and O3Spaces, offer optimised packages for operation with UCS, which can be integrated in the UCS management system among other things. UCS is thus the Open Source integration platform for IT infrastructure operation and management.

Univention GmbH
Silvia Frank
Mary-Somerville-Straße 1
28359 Bremen
Telephone: +49 (0)421 22232 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)421 22232 - 99

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