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Google pledges to only strike back (not first) in open source patent cases

ZDNet - Google is taking a firmer stance on open source technology and patent wars all at once with a new pledge.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise has published what it is calling the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge.

In the plainest terms, Duane Valz, senior patent counsel at Google, explained in a blog post on Thursday morning that this means Google promises "not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked."

Our pledge builds on past efforts by companies like IBM and Red Hat and the work of the Open Invention Network (of which Google is a member). It also complements our efforts on cooperative licensing, where we’re working with like-minded companies to develop patent agreements that would cut down on lawsuits.

And, in addition to these industry-driven initiatives, we continue to support patent reforms that would improve patent quality and reduce excessive litigation.