Patents: wow, this is amazing news! ‘IBM today pledged open access to key innovations covered by 500 IBM software patents to individuals and groups working on open source software. IBM believes this is the largest pledge ever of patents of any kind and represents a major shift in the way IBM manages and deploys its intellectual property (IP) portfolio.’
Even better, they are hoping to begin a ‘patent commons’ for other companies to join, and the OSI definitions of which licenses are judged ‘open’ apply.
Of course, it would be better if it were also safe for commercial software development. But this is a valuable bulwark against Microsoft-style patent tactics.