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NorthTech Computer Joins the OIN

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Today, NorthTech Computer became the latest organization to join the Open Invention Network (OIN).

NorthTech, along with IBM, Slackware Linux, Novell, Google, Gentoo, Phillips, Sony, NEC, Texas Instruments, and over 500 others, as fellow members of the OIN are pledging non-aggression agreements between themselves and other member organizations concerning Linux patents.

Have you ever wondered about that little link on a web page in your browser, that changes color, indicating that you have previously visited the URL it links to? Guess what? There's a patent for that ;)

And what do you think would happen if that patent suddenly fell into the hands of the wrong people? That's right. The people who develop browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Exploder would be at the mercy of that patent holder, subject to penalties and/or royalties...

That would in turn need to be passed on to you, and you would then have to pay for your browser, on top of everything else you already have to pay for.

In order to keep much of the technology that you take for granted available for use and free, a lot of free software must be encumbered by patents just to ensure that it remains so. OpenStack, Ruby, Python, Django, LibreOffice, and much of the underlying libraries, compilers, and core components of any UNIX or Linux operating system are actually encumbered by patents.

Let's talk about specifics, and how many technologies that you actually want will never see the light of day if nice people, or organizations like the OIN, don't hold certain patents.

Tokenless Biometric ATM Access System - You do think that it is more secure to look into an ATM camera or provide your fingerprint during checkout time at Sears or Taco Bell, instead of wondering whether some Russian or Nigerian mob boss is out buying cars and refrigerators with your PIIN and the money in your bank, right? Patent# 6,154,879 is safe with the OIN.

Seamless Playback of Multiple Clips of Media Data Across a Data Network - You do like your Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Youtube, and other Internet radio and movie streaming services, don't you? Patent# 7,448,062 is safe with the OIN.

Enhanced Image Compression Utilizing Hilbert Curve Scanning of Quantized Discrete Cosine Transform Coefficients - Are you concerned about the cost of your 4G cellular service? Would you like to pay less and worry less about whether you can afford to download your cousin's wedding ceremony pics on your Android? Of course you would! Patent# 7,724,948 is safe with the OIN.

Method and System for Providing Quick Directions - Do you like your Garmin, Android, and other network GPS mapping devices that allow you to drive around, receive verbal instructions on how to get to your destinations? I know you do. And TomTom does too, but partly in order to bring you that technology w/o you having to pay each time you want directions, they joined the OIN in 2009 (also, partly because mACROsFOT was suing them over their use of Linux - go figure). Patent# 6,539,080 is also now safe with the OIN.

From their website:

Open Invention Network® was formed to ensure that individual programmers, independent software vendors, distributors and businesses have open access to intellectual property related to the Linux System. This will continue to fuel software innovation that leads to increased sales, productivity, flexibility and profits.

This means that, with the price of gasoline, currently hovering at foru bucks a gallon in the U.S., that you've got that extra five bucks to go and visit your friend, just because you want to. That's called, "Economic Prerogative" - something that some evil companies would like to squeeze out of your wallet for their own insidious designs.

Even the evil EllisonCo (Oracle) is a former member of the OIN. Unfortunately for all of us, they decided it would be more fun to sue Google over Google's use of Java. I suppose you could put that in Sun Microsystems epitaph.

On the other hand, and fortunately for you, EllisonCo's cross-licensed patent portfolio is still available for OIN members - albeit, just the patents that were involved at the time that Oracle decided not to play nice in the sandbox and leave. But we have rules here on this schoolyard playground, so at least they couldn't take their toys home with them. That's OIN at work for you, the developer, the manufacturer, and the end consumer; invisible and behind the scenes, working hard to make the future an even better place for you and everyone else.

Let's talk about pure evil for a moment. As I'm sure everyone is aware, mACR0sF0t was once the king of personal computing, having pushed IBM over the cliff when they abandoned the cooperative development between them for OS/2, and then used James Alchin to bring us Windows NT/95/98/2000/XP/etc...

They poo pooed Linux, even as it was clear to network engineers and systems administrators the world over that Linux and Cisco is actually what powers the Internet. Microsoft has never failed to deliver a laughable server platform. Well in the last couple of years, Linux has eclipsed both Microsoft AND Apple - displacing both at the same time to claim the crown of the personal Operating System of more than half of all the computing people on the planet.

No, I am not talking about servers. I'm talking about your personal computing. Samsung alone currently sells more Android devices than all of the Apple iPhones combined. And they're only one manufacturer of Androids. There's HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, and others too.

But did you know, that the cost of every single Android device you buy is eight dollars more than it could be, because those eight dollars must be paid to Microsoft by every single manufacturer of Androids? They're going to make well over 3 billion dollars this year off you and your Android purchases by virtue of doing absolutely nothing!

It's hard to believe, but it is indeed true. See HERE for the ugly truth wil all the dirty particulars on that travesty. A terrible injustice that effectively makes Linux Microsoft's most valuable asset where earnings are concerned!

And guess what? They get that money for developing  nothing, inventing nothing, and contributing absolutely nothing back to you.

Patents protected by the OIN enable developers to bring such software functionality to you without having to force you to incur that extra five, or twenty five, or even one hundred twenty five, dollars every time you turn around.

In the open source (FOSS) world, developers and vendors make their money by creating new, or improving upon existing technologies and functionalities, and then providing those free products to you and offering service and support for a fee (They make much more money that way, since everyone needs support anyway).

You want the product because it is free, and usually better than the costly proprietary, closed source one anyway, which the developers of will still charge you for support - or maybe even REQUIRE you to pay for a support subscription, even if you don't need or want it!

There needs to be some sanity taking hold here. Don't you think? You need to be aware of the evil in this world, how it is really dispersed amongst us, and I'm not talking about the pickpockets at the shopping malls and airports either - I'm talking about the rapists in Redmond.   

One of the OIN's missions is to acquire and share, royalty free, software patents. You can see a complete list of the software patents that have been made safe and forever free by the OIN HERE

Even as a private individual, you too can help in this effort and really make a BIG difference. For more information, and to get involved, please visit

To search and read up on the particulars of any of these or other patents mentioned in this article, simply visit the US Government Patent and Trademark Office HERE

I hope that helps :)