January 14, 2005
A Way to Hammer at Windows
Big Blue collects about $1 billion a year in licensing fees from its hoard of 40,000 patents. So it came as quite a surprise to some on Jan. 11 when IBM pledged to make 500 of its software patents, valued at about $10 million, freely available to open-source software projects such as the Linux operating system and the Apache Web page server software. Why would IBM (IBM ) allow others to use its intellectual property free of charge?