IBM Pledges 500 Patents to Open Source

In what Big Blue believes is the largest pledge of patents in history, IBM has offered up 500 patents to the open source initiative. The patents will be open for use by any individual, company or community to use in software that will be open source by the standards of the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

IBM hopes that this initial pledge of patents will help to form a "patent commons," where technology companies would release some of their privately held patents in order to foster innovation that would benefit everyone.

"This is not a one-time event," said Dr. John Kelly, IBM senior vice president. "While IBM will continue to demonstrate leadership in patent output, through measures such as today's pledge, we will increasingly use patents to encourage and protect global innovation and interoperability through open standards and we urge others to do so as well."

With the release of the patents, IBM also announced that in 2004 it had received 3,248 patents, the most by any company in the country for the twelfth consecutive year.

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