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IBM Adds Patents To Open Source Pool

The company is providing royalty-free access to its patent portfolio for some healthcare and education software specifications built around Web services, electronic forms, and open document formats.

IBM has unveiled an initiative to improve interoperability and access through open source software standards.

Under the initiative, announced Monday, the company is pledging royalty-free access to its patent portfolio for development and implementation of selected open healthcare and education software standards built around web services, electronic forms and open document formats.

The company stated that growth and service delivery in healthcare and education is stunted by a proliferation of incompatible formats and proprietary technology, making it difficult to find, retrieve and share standardized medical records and educational resources.

The new initiative could spur worldwide development of standardized electronic health record networks, supporting the protection, privacy and security of health information through open, interoperable technologies, according to IBM.

Open access to IBM's education technology could improve effectiveness and productivity in the delivery and management of education by providing students in remote areas with new resources. IBM has patents that use web services to link students and teachers anywhere in the world based on the compatibility of their teaching and learning styles.

Monday's announcement furthers IBM's progress in making good on its promise earlier this year to feed 500 software patents to the open source community.

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