Encrypted Email Service Latest to Join Anti-Patent Trolling Group

Encrypted email service Tutanota joins a patent-sharing organization

Stronger together. Pixabay

Tutanota provides end-to-end encrypted email, which means that only the sender and the recipient are able to read it. Should someone wiretap either one and intercept their messages, they will not be able to make sense of the messages.

The company just announced that it has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), a group dedicated to protecting the Linux operating system and related technology from patent lawsuits. 

“We are very pleased to have an end-to-end encrypted mail service such Tutanota join our network, particularly given the importance of privacy and freedom in today’s world,” Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN, said in a press release from Tutanota. Now Tutanota is part of a larger alliance committed not to suing fellow members over anything Linux-related.

Since 2005, OIN has been backed by groups like Google, IBM, Red Hat, Sony and Toyota. OIN members get access to more than 1,000 patents to use in their own products, and membership is free.

“The core purpose of the patent system is to incentivize innovation,” Marta Belcher and John Casey of the Stanford Law School write in a guide to hacking the patent system for EFF. “Yet, in many high-technology industries today, the patent system is a scourge on innovation.”

The guide shows ways companies have started to work together to protect their own interests while also protecting the innovation economy from frivolous lawsuits, including OIN.