About Us

Conceptualized by Open Invention Network and co-sponsored with the Software Freedom Law Center and The Linux Foundation, Linux Defenders is a first-of-its-kind program which combines free online intellectual property (IP) publication with defensive patent tools to provide the Linux and open source community an effective vehicle to reduce future patent concerns. Linux Defenders serves as a portal for the Linux and broader open source community and seamlessly links to the Peer to Patent and Post-Issue Peer to Patent platforms that New York Law School manages.

Architected to eliminate poor quality patents and ensure that only high quality patents issue, the Linux Defenders program enables individuals and organizations to efficiently contribute to:

  • “Defensive Publications” that codify ‘known’ inventions that have not previously been patented so that they can be brought to the attention of the patent office to ensure that later developed patent applications claiming such inventions do not issue. In general, defensive publications are a vehicle which allows the Linux and broader open source community to create valuable prior art that enables Linux and freedom of action/freedom to operate for those active in utilizing Linux to drive innovation in products, services, and applications;
  • “Peer to Patent” which solicits prior art contributions from the Linux and broader open source community to ensure patent examiners are aware of prior art relevant to published applications that are currently under review. In this way, the patent office is alerted to relevant prior art and only the most innovative and novel ideas are actually patented.
  • “Post-Issue Peer to Patent” which solicits prior art contribution from Linux and the broader open source community to permit the invalidation of previously issued patents that were issued in error because of the patent office’s lack of awareness of relevant prior art.

Use of Linux Defenders is free of charge to contributors and the hosting of Defensive Publications on databases accessible by patent and trademark office examiners around the world is borne by the program’s sponsors.

Open Invention NetworkSM is a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux by acquiring and licensing patents, influencing behaviors and policy, and defending the integrity of the ecosystem, through strategic programs such as Linux Defenders. It enables the growth and continuation of open source software by fostering a healthy Linux ecosystem of investors, vendors, developers and users. Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information, visit www.openinventionnetwork.com.

The Software Freedom Law Center is a not-for-profit legal services organization that provides legal representation and other law-related services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Founded in 2005, the Center now represents many of the most important and well-established free software and open source projects. For more information, visit www.softwarefreedom.org.

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. Founded in 2007, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies and developers from around the world. The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms. For more information, visit www.linuxfoundation.org.

The Center for Patent Innovations is unique among New York Law School’s centers in that it is principally focused on research and development. Associated with both the Institute for Information Law & Policy and the Do Tank, the Center designs and develops projects harnessing Web-based collaborative tools for the sole purpose of improving patent systems, both in the United States and around the world. For more information, visit www.nyls.edu/centers/centers_and_institutes/center_for_patent_innovations.