Nokia joins the Linux patent alliance

Nokia has put the full weight of its patent portfolio behind the Linux open source operating system. In a legally binding document posted on its website Nokia pledged not to enforce any of its patents that are infringed by current official releases of the Linux kernel. Patent litigation is considered one of the biggest threats to open source software development.

A successful claim could initiate similar assertions to those made by SCO, a software developer that claims to own the copyrights for Unix and demands punitive damages and royalty payments from developers and end users. Nokia's guarantee is limited to existing versions of the Linux kernel, and the company reserves the right to enforce patents against future versions and functionalities of the operating system.

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