Tue 2 Apr 2013
Google unveiled a “patent pledge” that it hopes will shield cloud software and big data developers from the type of litigation that has engulfed the mobile phone industry. The pledge, which is like a non-aggression pact, covers ten patents related to Google’s MapReduce technology.
The pledge, which Google announced on Thursday, says that developers are free to use or sell the technology described in the patents without fear of future lawsuits. The shield applies, however, only to projects based on open source software that is available to all
The ten patents included in Google’s pledge include a controversial one issued last year that covers a form of parallel processing known as MapReduce. The patent gave rise to fears that Google would be able to monopolize tools like Hadoop, which is an integral part of the so-called “big data” revolution that is fueling a wide range of new products and services. Google’s pledge appears intended to allay that fear.