It depends on the license of the software. Always.
This marks an important and symbolic step forward in the battle between Free/Open Source Software and the looming specter of software patent infringements in nations which recognise them. Google's support bolsters the OIN's effectiveness as a shield against patent attacks against GNU/Linux and many popular applications which run on it."Linux plays a vital role at Google, and we're strongly committed to supporting the Linux developer community. We believe that by becoming an Open Invention Network licensee, we can encourage Linux development and foster innovation in a way that benefits everyone. We're proud to participate in OIN's mission to help Linux thrive.