Call it coincidence or call it fate, but nary a month after Microsoft filed a patent lawsuit against TomTom over Linux-based GPS systems, TomTom has just been taken into the warm, loving arms of the Open Invention Network. Said company, which was formed to "enable and protect Linux," has just extended the Linux ecosystem with the signing of TomTom as a licensee. What this means is that TomTom is now cleared to leverage the benefits of Linux and all patents owned by OIN; the only catch is that TomTom cannot "assert its patents against the Linux System." 'Course, TomTom has been friends with Linux for quite some time now, but this deal could lead to faster development and enhanced innovation compared to what we've seen in the past. Color us intrigued.