It's been 20 days since our patent pledge and there's hardly been a dull moment. I'm still getting a lot of requests to talk about the pledge and respond to some of the issues it raised. One of the things we stated when we made the pledge was that we wanted it to raise the discussion level around what is happening in the open source area and how it can be done to drive innovation. I think I've answered the "why did you this" and "why didn't you do that" and "what are you going to do next" questions pretty extensively in a variety of interviews that have started showing up.
Just for fun, I did some hit counts in the top search engines on IBM "500 patents" and these are the counts that came up:
- Google: 155,000 (this seems hard to believe)
- MSN: 23,438 (still a lot)
- Ask.com: 99,000 (still seems really big, I could only see top 200)
- Lycos: 18,826
Your numbers will vary if you do the searches, and I expect the very large numbers to stabilize at something lower after a while. In any case, there is clearly a lot of discussion in many corners of the industry and this is good.