Nokia has announced that its patented technology can be used freely in the Linux kernel
. The company believes that the important and valuable work being done by individuals and companies in creating and developing the Linux kernel
and other open-source software "deserves a framework of certainty
", and is therefore offering intellectual property protections to open-source programmers.
Nokia hereby commits not to assert any of its Patents (as defined herein below) against any Linux Kernel (as defined herein below) existing as of 25 May 2005. The aforesaid non-assertion shall extend to any future Linux Kernel to the extent that Nokia does not declare any new functionality embodied in such Linux Kernel to be outside the scope of this Patent Statement. Nokia shall issue such declaration through its website no later than one hundred and twenty (120) days after the official release of such Linux Kernel.
The announcement by Nokia claims that the company will refrain from asserting legal claims against Linux involving its current patents, but it does reserve the right to have future patents excluded from the agreement.