Jack Dorsey-founded Square company has joined the cross-licensing platform Open Invention Network in an effort to reduce patent lawsuits over cryptocurrencies to promote digital assets.
The Open Invention Network is a cross-licensing platform where members pledge for access to open source technologies without paying any royalties. Joining among the likes of other tech companies, mobile payments company Square has also joined the platform in an effort to avoid litigation that has plagued the smartphone industry.
Last year, Square formed the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance where members make a similar pledge to not sue each other over patents while providing a shared patent library for access to the underlying technology.
The company joining the Open Invention Network includes creating a “non-aggression pact” for the technology and tools behind digital currencies that “you can’t do business without.”
Max Sills, counsel at Square and general manager of the cryptocurrency alliance, said:
“We’re in just such a rapid time of growth, so many amazing things are happening without patents. We want to avoid long-drawn-out legal battles.”
The Open Invention Network has more than 1,000 patents of its own that members get royalty-free and was originally created to protect the Linux operating system from patent litigation. Founded in 2005, the network includes members over 3,500 across the world including Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and Oracle Corp.
Other groups too formed to address their own challenges, though each focuses on their own set of problems when it comes to patent disputes. For instance, the Open Crypto Alliance was set up to identify patent applications to challenge by providing information to patent examiners to use as a basis for rejecting applications.
Even financial institutions like the Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have been obtaining numerous patents in the fields of blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies.