IBM offers 500 patents for open-source use
From ZDNet: IBM offers 500 patents for open-source use
This is an interesting piece of news. It's been obvious for a long time that IBM is a strong supporter of the open-source movement. Witness their release of software like Derby, Eclipse, XML parsers, etc into that environment. With this announcement, they solidify their position within that community and place themselves firmly in opposition to Microsoft's probable path... that is, using patents to cripple or kill off open-source projects that compete directly with them (read: Linux).
Now I have no doubt that IBM's release of patents is carefully selected to not give away any crown jewels or potential major revenue sources. But the mindshare and goodwill they will pick up from the IT community in general is significant. If Microsoft decides to enforce some patent against Linux and start a legal battle, IBM will eat their lunch in the courts of public opinion. Not that they wouldn't have anyway, but now it will be a massacre.