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IBM Joins LOT Network in Major Step to Promote and Protect Open Innovation

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By joining LOT Network - a non-profit community of companies committed to protecting against the action of Patent Assertion Entities - IBM strengthens LOT's mission with over 80,000 additional patents and patent applications

IBM today announced a major step in its dedication to open innovation and responsible stewardship of technology by joining LOT Network Inc, a non-profit community of companies that builds a protective barrier for its members against patent assertion entities (PAEs).

PAEs acquire patents from third parties and some then try to make money through litigation against potential infringers. This can prove not only costly, but can also hamper innovation. LOT Network contains more than two million patent assets. If any of these falls into the hands of a PAE, LOT Network members receive a license to that patent, meaning the PAE will not be able to sue members for alleged infringement of that patent.

IBM's membership in LOT Network supports the protection of innovations for IBM and its ecosystem of customers, developers and like-minded companies across the industry. With today's news, IBM is adding over 80,000 patents and patent applications under the protection of LOT Network, shielding those patents from PAEs and encouraging industry-wide open innovation.

In 2019, IBM acquired LOT Network founding member Red Hat, the world's leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions. In helping to create LOT Network, Red Hat sought to protect innovation in the open source community, and showed that it was a responsible patent steward by agreeing to license its patents to other LOT Network members should its patents fall into the hands of a PAEs.

"As the largest recipient of patents in the U.S. each year for more than a quarter-century, IBM has continued to push the boundaries of innovation, improving the way we live and work, through some of the most disruptive technologies," said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM. "Through our membership in LOT Network, we are joining a group of like-minded organizations, including Red Hat, that see strong value in protecting the traditional uses of patents, while fostering open innovation for today and the future."

"IBM is a welcome addition to the LOT Network's community of 600-plus companies," said Ken Seddon, CEO, LOT Network. "IBM has a strong track record of patenting innovation, and a sophisticated IP business. By joining LOT network, they are providing a way for companies to mitigate risk from PAEs, in direct alignment with the mission of LOT, strengthening our collective ability to mitigate patent abuse."

The IBM business model is built to support two principal goals: helping clients succeed in delivering business value by becoming more innovative, efficient and competitive through the use of business insight and information technology (IT) solutions; and, providing long-term value to shareholders. The business model has been developed over time through strategic investments in capabilities and technologies that have the best long-term growth and profitability prospects based on the value they deliver to clients. The company's strategy is to focus on the high-growth, high-value segments of the IT industry. The company's global capabilities include services, software, hardware, fundamental research and financing. The broad mix of businesses and capabilities are combined to provide business insight and solutions for the company's clients.

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