Tuesday, January 11, 2005

IBM frees patents

IBM is to license the use of 500 of its computing patents for free to everybody (significantly not excluding open source development). Apparently this is the first step towards a "patent commons", and is very welcome news for those developers (closed and open source) who can never be sure whether or not something they write might be hit by a lawsuit on some obscure patent. I think that this is a great idea, and hope that other companies follow suit quickly, although this in no way excuses the pressure that large software companies are applying for software patents to be applied in Europe as well. A list of the affected patents can be found here.

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