Peeking underneath IBM's patent pledge

Summary:The other week, IBM pledged to release 500 technology patents to the development community, for free, with no strings attached. On the surface, at least, the pledge seems like a positive development.

The other week, IBM pledged to release 500 technology patents to the development community, for free, with no strings attached. On the surface, at least, the pledge seems like a positive development.

ZDNet's Chris Jablonski dug a little deeper into the announcement, however, and questions IBM's motives. Namely, the pledge covers 500 out of 23,000 patents, or only 2.17% of Big Blue's total store. But IBM doesn't disclose how or why these particular patents were selected for release into the wild. Are they rejects or subjects of litigation?

Steve Ballmer once said that the only reason vendors put products into open source is because they couldn't make it commercially. (This is definitely a Ballmerization, but he may have a point in some cases.) Readers: Does having the assurance that a patent is free and clear make you more likely to use a technology?


















Topics: Patents

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.