IBM is giving start-up companies access to more than 40,000 of its technology patents through a new licensing programme.
IBM’s “Ventures in Collaboration” programme will make it easier for emerging companies to get access to the technology behind its patents, to encourage business partnerships between them and Big Blue.
Patent access is being controlled through two types of cross-licensing agreement.
One is designed for new companies generating less than $10m (£6m) in sales, the other is for more advanced companies with over £10m in turnover.
Partnering systems now form an important plank of IBM’s strategy for future growth. In the past 18 months, the company has increased the number of its partnership programmes from around 20 to more than 950.
IBM also recently released 500 software patents to the open source community.