Nokia is allowing open source developers to use its patented technology to develop the Linux operating system.
The move should help developers to extend Linux more widely to both mobile devices and mission-critical telecoms infrastructure solutions.
At the same time as it announced its Linux support, the Finnish company also launched a Linux-based internet mobile device.
The limited take-up of Linux-based mobile devices has so far mainly taken place in Asia, with companies, particularly in China and India, keen to benefit from the cheaper development costs in launching open source products.
The western mobile market for Linux and open source products enjoyed a boost earlier this year when PalmSource, the software licensing arm of Palm, bought Chinese mobile Linux leader China MobileSoft Technologies.
Linux seller Red Hat already allows its patents to be used in Linux development, and at the beginning of the year IBM published a list of 500 patents that may be freely used in any open source project.