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IBM Interoperability Pledge

IBM has announced that it is granting universal and perpetual access to certain intellectual property that might be necessary to implement more than 150 standards designed to make software interoperable. As the press release states:
One likely result of the 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.
and Bob Sutor, IBM's VP of Open Source and Standards, added:
"IBM is sending a message that innovation and industry growth happens in an open, collaborative atmosphere. Users will adopt new technologies if they know that they can find those technologies in a variety of interchangeable, compatible products from competing vendors. We think customers will like this added assurance for the open standards upon which they have come to depend."
Previously, all adopters of these specifications and protocols needed to secure royalty-free licensing terms from IBM and often co-authors. This move clarifies and makes more consistent the intellectual property usage rules, encouraging even wider implementations of open standards. IBM hopes that others companies and intellectual property holders make similar commitments.

IBM has created a set of pages dedicated to the Interoperability Pledge and the front page states:
IBM is offering a patent non-assert pledge to include the software specifications identified in the following list. IBM intends this pledge to include specifications for software interoperability for which it has made a royalty-free patent licensing commitment. No action is required by users of these specifications to invoke this non-assert commitment.
The list of specifications covered is quite impressive, including SCA/SDO, XACML 1.0/1.1, XML 1.0/1.1, MTOM, WS-MTOMPolicy 1.0, OpenDocument 1.0/1.1, OGSA, OWL, SAML 2.0, SOAP 1.2, UDDI, WS-RM, WS-Security, WS-Addressing, WS-AtomicTransaction, WS-BusinessActivity, WSDL etc. etc.

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