Keith Bergelt
Open Invention Network

The Open Invention Network has welcomed automobile manufacturer Daimler into the Linux patent protection partnership. CEO Keith Bergelt explains

How will Daimler joining the Open Invention Network contribute towards patent non-aggression between car manufacturers and third parties?

Historically, the automotive industry has designed and manufactured their platforms, from the ground up, in partnership with their tier-one suppliers. This has meant that as new innovations have occurred, there has been a great deal of backward engineering at very basic levels of the automobile, which has resulted in slower innovation and development times.

Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), stewarded by the Linux Foundation, with participation from numerous automotive brands, will become the foundation for automobiles for years to come. While it will begin by providing a basic platform for automotive entertainment and connectivity, it will eventually expand to provide management of advanced automotive systems. Participating automotive manufacturers will benefit from using this remarkable open source platform because they will be able to focus the vast majority of their innovation and customisation efforts on the systems that interact and delight consumers.

In order for this to work, automotive manufacturers will need to share the base, platform technology—and avoid the patent wars that have recently consumed the computing and mobile industries. Daimler joining the Open Invention Network (OIN) is very significant because it has a storied past of innovation and patenting their advancements.

By joining OIN, Daimler is recognising the shared values and benefits provided by open source and Linux, and pledging to a royalty-free cross licence for software lower in the technology stack. By joining Toyota, Ford and Hyundai-KIA as part of OIN, with more automakers and suppliers expected to join, the disruption caused by patent lawsuits should be impaired.

Will having this kind of historically renowned company promote further inclusion in OIN?

Daimler invented the automobile. It is the largest premium car company and the largest international truck and bus manufacturer. Numerous automobile manufacturers and their tier-one suppliers closely observe what actions Daimler takes from an engineering and industry perspective.

As the largest patent non-aggression organisation in history, OIN is very pleased with Daimler joining. We believe that Daimler’s participation will increase the comfort level for other automotive companies to come forward and participate in OIN.

Do you think we’ll see other car manufacturers follow suit and head towards open source software? Specifically, those innovating in the intelligent/self-driving car space?

Yes, we do. As AGL matures to become the platform for the majority of automobiles, designing intelligent automobile capabilities and features should become much easier because there will be a base platform that all of the different systems and components can use to communicate amongst each other. In fact, by leveraging AGL and participating in OIN, we expect the development of better, intelligent/self-driving cars to reach the market faster than many estimates.

What impact are outsiders like Apple and Google having on car manufacturing? Are they attracting the kind of attention for which the Open Invention Network was formed, and perhaps Daimler, as a company not traditionally associated with Linux, joined?

Google has been a participant in OIN since 2006, and has been a board member since late-2013. Their participation in OIN, and extensive use of Linux and other open source software, has been a key factor in the rapid adoption and use of Linux. Additionally, they have been trailblazers in the intelligent automobile segment. As such, Google’s self-driving module may well be adopted by select automakers and run on the AGL operating system in the near to medium term.

As non-traditional automobile companies and suppliers begin to focus on the intelligent automotive industry, there has been speculation that the behaviour of some bad actors, in terms of patent aggression and usury licensing fees, may follow them into this industry. We see the automobile manufacturers looking to mitigate these issues. One of the ways they are doing so is by joining OIN.

As classically perceived computing and mobile companies begin to enter the intelligent automotive market, and begin engaging with automotive manufacturers, we would welcome their participation in OIN. This would help demonstrate a commitment to innovation and positive behaviour. Additionally, it would provide them access to a valuable portfolio of IP.

The latest interviews from IPPro Patents
The latest features from IPPro Patents
A recent workshop hosted by the US Federal Trade Commission saw acting chairman Maureen Ohlhausen discuss the impact of patents on drug pricing and competition in the marketplace. Kevin O’Connor, partner at Neal Gerber & Eisenberg, explains
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in Aqua Products v the US Patent and Trademark Office has ruffled many feathers, as the burden of proof in an inter-partes review begins to shift to the petitioner
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Allergan’s recent patent deal with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has drawn the ire of the industry, and the jury is still out on whether it will work
Unfavourable environments for business method patents in the US have led to an increase of filings in Asia. Benjamin Keim of Lee & Hayes explains
Doris Spielthenner of Practice Insight discusses Amazon’s now expired ‘1-Click’ purchase patent and the problems with owning such a broad “super-patent”
While uncertainty persists, plant breeders may need to double down to secure their rights, says Penny Maplestone of the British Society of Plant Breeders
Least developed countries can now more easily obtain compulsory licences during public health emergencies, but some have been slow to take advantage. Vítor Palmela Fidalgo of Inventa International explains why
Diana Portna of D&L IP Group explains how Ukraine’s compulsory licensing laws could be opened up for the public interest, and how rights owners could react
Country profiles
The latest country profiles from IPPro Patents
Bruno Nunes of BN IP explains how patent prosecution and licensing works in Macau, a market dominated by gaming and pharma
Tran Viet Phuong of Duong Tran offers a handy guide to patent prosecution
IPPro Connects

Visit our sister site
the worlds biggest and best IP directory
The Andean Community has stood firm in the defence of its owns interests, says Jesús Cuba and Kelly Sánchez of OMC Abogados & Consultores
The first preliminary injunction granted by a China IP court was awarded to Christian Louboutin. Dr Weili Ma of Chofn Intellectual Property explains
Patent prosecution in South Africa rarely favours the inventor, but recent reforms are aiming to change that, one little bit at a time
The Tanzania Patent Office is a useful partner in the prosecution process, says Sunday Godfrey Ndamugoba of ABC Attorneys
Dominic Ogega Mwale, managing partner at Mwale & Company, explains how to patent in Kenya
Patent owners looking for an attractive place to seek protection in Asia need look no further than Singapore, says Max Ng and Gerald Mursjid of Gateway Law Corporation