The Jig Saw

Thursday, January 13, 2005

IBM Heads to Open Source - Wired

U.S. patent leader IBM said it plans to donate 500 patents for free use by software developers, marking a major shift in intellectual property strategy for the world's top computer maker and a challenge to the technology industry.

The IBM move is meant to encourage other patent holders to donate their own intellectual property in order to form what the company refers to as a "patent commons," a modern twist on shared public lands set aside under traditional laws.

The donation coincides with an announcement by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that IBM topped the list of annual patent recipients for the 12th straight year, with 3,248 patents -- or 1,314 more patents than No. 2-ranked Matsushita (MC) of Japan, known for its Panasonic brand.


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