Sun Microsystems yesterday released more than 1,600 patents to the open source community, claiming that the move represents the largest ever single transfer of intellectual property. The move follows the release of the source code to Solaris 10.
In a "significant shift in the way Sun positions its intellectual property portfolio" the firm gave open source developers free access to OpenSolaris-related patents under the Common Development and Distribution License.
The release covers all aspects of Solaris operating system technologies, ranging from kernel technology and file systems to network management.
Patents for Sun's newest technologies, such as the anticipated Dynamic Tracing, will also be available under the open access programme.
Stacey Quandt, senior business analyst at Robert Frances Group, said: "An intellectual property contribution of this magnitude has the potential to deliver exceptional value to developers, and strengthens the overall open source community."
Sun said that its move will help users get new open source products and technologies to market faster without having to obtain patent licences from Sun.
"As the largest business contributor to the open source community, Sun has always been an ardent believer in open standards and the open source process going back to the inception of this company," said Sun chairman and chief executive Scott McNealy.
"The release of more than 1,600 patents associated with Solaris far eclipses any other vendor's contribution."
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