Steve Lohr of the New York Times writes about IBM's recent shift in patent policy
International Business Machines has calculated that sharing technology can sometimes be more profitable than jealously guarding its property rights on patents, copyrights and trade secrets. . . .
This year, IBM mad a broad gesture toward what it called a "new era" in how it controls intellectual property. . . .
IBM is not forsaking its lucrative technology licensing business or pulling back on new patent filings. And the company is not giving away the technology for its lucrative mainframe computers, its proprietary database software and other complete products.
Instead, it is freely contributing the technology building blocks that allow broader communication across industry networks.
Check out the rest of the lengthy, informative article.