Maersk, a supply chain leader, joins the Open Invention Network


When you’re a technologist and you hear “containers” and “supply chain,” your mind immediately goes to Docker containers and supply chain software. However, most people think of container ships and the physical supply chain that brings milk and bread to their local grocery store. However, these two concepts have more in common than you might think. AP Møller – Mærsk A/S (Maersk) is a global leader in container shipping and logistics services that uses open source software to deliver its goods.

It is therefore not really surprising that Maersk joins the Open Invention Network (OIN), which protects Linux and open source software patents. Maersk relies on open source software for its supply chain management platforms.

As Simone Frattasi, Head of Global Intellectual Property at Maersk, explained: “As we continue our digital transformation, we remain focused on creating and integrating the best technologies for our logistics platforms, providing services that our customers love and trust. Open source plays a central role in the platforms and applications we build, buy and integrate.”

With all the problems in today’s modern supply chain, failed container logistics needs all the help it can get. Sure, it needs more ships, truckers, and warehouses, but it also needs the best possible software to manage all those physical moving parts.

This is perfectly logical. After all, pointed out Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN. “Rapidly evolving supply chain technologies, from tracking chips and sensors to blockchain platforms,” work hand in hand with logistics. Thus, “integrated logistics companies are increasingly relying on open source technologies as they modernize, integrate and create new supply chain capabilities”.

Together, Maersk and the OIN will practice patent non-aggression in the Linux kernel and adjacent open source technologies by cross-licensing Linux system patents to each other on a royalty-free basis. The patents held by the OIN are granted under a royalty-free license to any organization which undertakes not to assert its patents against the Linux system. The OIN license can be signed online by simply joining the OIN.

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