Mozilla earlier this month has announced an patent filing program for its open source technologies and is committed to placing these in the context of a license allowing reuse of the patented technologies. This would encourage proprietary software vendors to join the open innovation movement.
Companies often use their patents offensively to prevent other developers from developing innovating and competitive software. New innovations are often prevented due to fear of patent infringement which can lead to expensive lawsuits. Open source projects are more vulnerable as they have limited amount of money to fight any type of patent infringement lawsuit.
Mozilla has launched a patent filing program, with the intention to place them immediately under viral free licenses, that would encourage proprietary software vendors to join the movement free . Each entity that receives the license must also, in turn, allow open source software projects to freely innovate without fear from patents.
I hope to see more companies licensing their patents to maximize openness in a way that makes sense for them. This will quicken the pace of research and will lead to more free and open source software development.