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April 10, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM wants to generate more money from its 9,000 US and 23,000 worldwide patents and on Friday announced that it was raising substantially the royalties it would charge to companies that sign new agreements to use its patents. Existing agreements are unaffected. Under the new rates licensees will pay a maximum of 1% of sales revenue on products using one IBM patent, and a maximum of 5% where several patents are used. Under the old rates, last changed 10 years ago, maximum royalty was 1% regardless of the number of patents used. Clarifying the situation with regard to PS/2, IBM says that present and future patents on PS/2 will be included but points out that a patent licence is not a licence to copy products that use the patent; not a transfer of the technology or trade secrets that went into developing a product; and does not allow a licensee to infringe other forms of intellectual property rights – copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, semiconductor mask works, or design patents covering the exterior appearance of products. IBM stresses it does not licence those. Cross-licence pacts will also continue.

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