IBM GIVING AWAY 500 PATENTS... SHOT ACROSS MICROSOFT'S BOW
Interesting development in the whole intellectual property arena, especially in light of Bill Gate's recent comments:
U.S. patent leader IBM said late on Monday it plans to donate 500 patents for free use by software developers, marking a major shift of intellectual property strategy for the world's top computer maker and a challenge to the high-tech industry.
Jim Stallings, IBM's vice president in charge of intellectual property, said in an interview that the move was meant to encourage other companies to unlock patent portfolios in order to spur technological innovation.
"This represents by far the largest pledge of patents in U.S. history," IBM said in a statement to be issued on Tuesday. "You can use them and grow and innovate (and)...to build something new," Stallings said in remarks aimed at developers.
But it also puts IBM at further loggerheads with rivals such as Microsoft, which argues that open source software development undermines corporate intellectual property rights. It also contrasts with zealous patent defenders such as major pharmaceutical and media companies -- big IBM customers. (full article)