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Google vows not to sue over patent infringement ‘unless first attacked’

Published Mar 28th, 2013 3:06PM EDT
Google Patents Open-Source Initiative

Google (GOOG) on Thursday announced a new open source initiative for dealing with patent infringement lawsuits. Duane Valz, the company’s senior patent counsel, said that moving forward Google won’t sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software utilizing its patents “unless first attacked.” The company hopes its Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge will serve as a model for the industry and encourage other patent holders to take similar approaches.

“Open-source software has been at the root of many innovations in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the Internet generally,” Valz wrote on Google’s Open Source Blog. “And while open platforms have faced growing patent attacks, requiring companies to defensively acquire ever more patents, we remain committed to an open Internet—one that protects real innovation and continues to deliver great products and services.”

This isn’t the first time Google has voiced its concerns about the state of mobile patents. The company has previously suggested that it was time to abandon software patents all together and focus more on innovation.