"ps. You've got to love IBM's ability to play the community. Going through some of the patents they "donated" to the open source community a few weeks back, it looks as if they all, curiously, seem to be due for payment - and thus potential expiration - this year. Were they destined for the bit bucket (turns out IBM is among the largest patent expirers in the world, along with its largest issuer).
And some of the patents have nothing to do with open source software - my favorite in the heap is this one. Not sure that's going to be quite the comfort the community's looking for. Here are a few others - for those working in gel embodiments; and for the open source doctors in the crowd.
We know we need to help the community understand how to take advantage of our grant - but at least all 1600 of the patents we've granted to the world were for operating systems and software (USPTO 700, for the wonks in the crowd)."