IBM Opens the Patent Market
Steve Lohr reports that IBM is open sourcing 500 patents.
John Kelly, the senior vice president for technology and intellectual property, called the patent contribution "the beginning of a new era in how I.B.M. will manage intellectual property."
Perhaps for more than just IBM -- competitors may have to follow, um, suit. While 500 patents is a drop in the bucket for the largest portfolio (40k), this is a significant move and part of a broader strategy to commoditize their inputs, pool risk, leverage a lead in services and change the game.
"This is exciting," said Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. "It is I.B.M. making good on its commitment to encourage a different kind of software development and recognizing the burden that patents can impose."
Amazing things happen when self interest is in group interest.
UPDATE: This post is cited in a really good Internet News story.