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Unlocking IBM's Intellectual Capital

Healthcare and Education to benefit from IBM's innovation

Global Innovation Outlook

Open software standards lead to greater efficiency and innovation, transforming both health care and education.

Your health care provider can access your entire medical history, so you never have to fill out another medical information sheet for your physician.

A college student can attend her school of choice from anywhere in the world and not worry about being too remote to learn and interact.

IBM is working to make these goals a reality. The company announced today it is pledging royalty-free access to our patent portfolio for the development and implementation of selected open healthcare and education software standards built around web services, electronic forms and open document formats.

IBM believes open software standards lead to greater efficiency and innovation, transforming both health care and education.

For example, we all understand emergency room requests have a higher priority than routine office inquiries. IBM's patents differentiating levels of service could speed that capability in web services to market.

In the education industry, 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.

Balanced approach

While intellectual property (IP) ownership is an essential driver of innovation, technological advances are often dependent on shared knowledge, standards and collaboration. IBM's balanced IP management enables both proprietary and open models while protecting truly new and useful inventions.

Each year, IBM generates more than a $1 billion of intellectual property income, and leads the world in U.S. patents issued. This income and pipeline are vitally important to our ability to continue to innovate. At the same time, opening access to our patents allows us to treat IP as intellectual capital that IBM invests in specific industries for them to improve services and reduce costs while helping them innovate and grow.

Previously IBM pledged 500 patents to the open source community, and has made other, more targeted donations of IP to industry groups in retail, insurance and automotive.