IBM has granted "universal and perpetual" access to patents related to over 150 software interoperability standards.
The company claimed that the move is the largest of its kind, and that it will improve compatibility between computing devices and software.
IBM added, in what could be viewed as a thinly veiled criticism of Microsoft's recent moves to assert its ownership of key elements of the Linux operating system, that it hoped its actions would help to "discourage litigation".
The software specifications and protocols involved in the pledge pertain to industry standards such as those reflected in web services that are under, or moving towards, stewardship by standards groups such as the World Wide Web Consortium and Oasis.
"IBM is sending a message that innovation and industry growth happens in an open collaborative atmosphere," said Bob Sutor, IBM's vice president of open source and standards.
"Users will adopt new technologies if they know that they can find those technologies in a variety of interchangeable compatible products from competing vendors.
"We think that customers will like this added assurance for the open standards on which they have come to depend."
IBM's commitment is valid as long as adopters are not suing any party (not just IBM) over necessary patented technology needed to implement the standards.
Previously, all adopters of these specifications and protocols needed to secure royalty-free licensing terms from IBM.
"This move clarifies and makes more consistent the intellectual property usa ge rules, encouraging even wider implementations of open standards," said IBM in a ststement.
"IBM hopes that others companies and intellectual property holders make similar commitments."
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