"Nokia believes that the investment made by so many individuals and companies in creating and developing the Linux kernel and other open-source software deserves a framework of certainty," the company said in a statement. Nokia made the announcement the same day it introduced a small.
The Linux kernel, the software project begun by Linus Torvalds in 1991, is at the heart of an operating system that includes numerous other open-source components.
Legal scrutiny of Linux in particular and open-source software in general jumped to the foreground with theinvolving Linux and Unix. And some have expected against open-source software.
Nokia isn't the first to offer protections. Linux seller Red Hat offersin open-source software, and to defend against legal attacks on open-source software.
Sun Microsystems is in the process ofand has pledged not to use them against other open-source projects. And in January, IBM published a list of in any open-source project.
Nokia said in its statement that it won't assert legal claims against Linux involving its current patents, but reserved the right to exclude future patents from the agreement. It published its policy on its Web site.
Nokia isn't extending its legal protection to those who assert their own patent infringement claims against the Linux kernel. "Nokia also believes that a party should not enjoy use of Nokia's patents and at the same time threaten the development of the Linux kernel by assertion of its own patents. Therefore, Nokia's commitment shall not apply with regard to any party asserting its patents against any Linux kernel," the company said in a statement.