Mercari, Inc. (Mercari) announced that the Mercari Group joined Open Invention Network and LOT Network on March 24, 2020. By joining these networks, Mercari continues its endeavors to publish technology the Mercari Group, including Mercari and Merpay, has accumulated to the world as open source, while preventing abusive use of patents to protect innovations.
Open Invention Network is a consortium of enterprises in the United States and a non-profit organization that protects open source software, such as Linux, from patent assertions. LOT Network is a non-profit organization consisting of enterprise members who oppose patent trolls.
The Mercari Group’s systems are supported by a variety of open source software. As a beneficiary of the enormous contributions made by the open source software community, we believe making a contribution to innovation in the world by publishing technology accumulated through the development and operation of our services, such as Mercari and Merpay, as open source is the right choice. Hence, the Mercari Group endorses the activities of Open Invention Network, which protects innovations with open source from patent risks.
Patent trolls refer to those organizations or individuals who are usually not involved in the research and development of their own, but rather acquire patents from third parties and then try to make money by asserting patents. Especially in the software industry, we observe instances where many companies are asserted by patents of which contents are unclear and validity is in question. The Mercari Group believes such type of patent assertion hinders innovative activities, and thus, opposes it.
By joining Open Invention Network, the patents owned by Mercari Group become a part of the cross-licenses in the open source community, allowing free use of the patents within the community. In addition, by joining LOT Network, the members of LOT Network can use patents owned by Mercari Group free of charge even if those patents are somehow circulated in the market and acquired by patent trolls.
By joining Open Invention Network and LOT Network, Mercari Group aligns with other leaders in the technology industry in protecting the community and participating in activities to prevent abusive use of patents. Together with Open Invention Network and LOT Network, Mercari Group will continue its endeavors to protect its “global marketplace where anyone can buy & sell” from patent assertions.
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