"Pillay asked if Microsoft would release its patents to the Open Invention Network (OIN), in line with its pledge toward interoperability. The OIN, whose founders include IBM, Novell and Red Hat, acquires patents, licensing them royalty-free to companies that agree not to assert their own patents against Linux or open source applications. Oliver Bell, regional technology officer, Microsoft Asia-Pacific, responded, saying Microsoft has an interest in protecting intellectual property that it has invested research and development (R&D) dollars in. He added that a royalties-based partnership could be arranged: "If Red Hat picks up a project we've invested in and commercializes it, we'd like a relationship around that." "