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?