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LinuxInsider: An Uncommon Commons

Jan 20, 2005, 04:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Philip H. Albert)

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"Last week's announcement that Big Blue was giving away patents was viewed as uncommonly good news in open source circles. When IBM decided to contribute 500 of its patents to a 'patent commons' for the benefit of open-source software developers and end users, it conjured up visions of a city commons where passersby could enjoy a sunny morning listening to the birds.

"There among the trees, grass and benches, I could just picture 500 patents stacked neatly next to the Civil War statue in the center of the green. But as an intellectual property attorney, I know from experience that it just does not work that way..."

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