IBM announced that it is <A HREF="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/21846.wss">granting universal and perpetual access</A> to certain intellectual property that might be necessary in implementing more than 150 standards designed to make software interoperable.
One likely result of this pledge to commercial and open source communities is that it will be easier for more computing devices and software to be compatible with one another. The move, which IBM believes is the largest of its kind, is also designed to spur industry innovation, while discouraging litigation.
The software specifications and protocols involved in the pledge underpin industry standards, such as those reflected in Web Services: programming, transactions and data exchanged on the Internet and Web. These are typically under, or moving toward, stewardship by standards groups such as the World Wide Web Consortium and OASIS.