IBM on Wednesday promised not to use its formidable collection of technology patents against Linux and challenged other companies to do the same, working to dispel one cloud that hangs over the open-source programming movement.
"IBM has no intention of asserting its patent portfolio against the Linux kernel, unless of course we are forced to defend ourselves," said Nick Donofrio, senior vice president for technology and manufacturing, drawing applause in a speech at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo.
The tech giant's announcement could relieve some who fear the legal threat of the computing industry's largest patent arsenal. But it doesn't address the more tangible danger that Microsoft, an avowed Linux enemy, could attack. Microsoft declined to comment for this story. But in April, the company's top lawyer said the software giant is willing "to work creatively" and to license its technology. However, patent licenses requiring royalty payments are prohibited for software governed by one major open-source license, the General Public License (GPL).
News source: C|Net News.com