Monday, December 19, 2005

IBM BRINGS UNIVERSITIES INTO ITS BIG, BIG TENT: In what seems to be a never-ending quest by IBM to trade patent enforcement for market penetration (and possibly even more patents), an announcement was made today that IBM and several other companies were teaming with universities to establish collaborative software projects for commercialization.

Software research labs have complained that the nature of software patents, as well as the patent process itself, has slowed the process of commercialization of technologies in universities. In the past decade, universities have found themselves working harder to address IP issues and sometimes face major difficulties in commercialization efforts even if those efforts involve a major industry partner.

To address this problem, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Cisco Systems have announced a collaborative patent consortion with universities that include Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Under the agreement, intellectual property arising from certain research collaborations will be made available free of charge for commercial and academic use.

According to John E. Kelly, senior vice president of technology and intellectual property for IBM, "open source software and open standards jointly developed by universities, government, and industry can create a powerful platform for collaborative innovation . . . These principles are based on a balanced approach to IP management and should stimulate additional joint industry and university research projects."

See IBM's online patent commons participation here.

See IBM's creation of "Ventures in Collaboration" for startups here.

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