Computer Associates has released 14 US patents for use by the open-source community.

The move comes eight months after IBM opened 500 of its patents for free use in colloborative software projects.

CA also announced that it has reached a long-term patent cross-license agreement with IBM, creating an exchange of licence rights and releases between the companies.

"Part of our motivation is to be able to say that we think the next generation of innovation is going to come from open-source, and we want the next generation of developers to be able to innovate," said Mark Barrenechea, chief technology architect at CA. That prompted CA to allow some of its relevant patents to be used by open-source developers for their projects.

For developers, the move will give them freer rein to explore software technology, Barrenechea said. "You get concerned around areas that may have strong patents in place" that can hinder development, he added.

CA said it is joining IBM in encouraging other companies to create an industrywide "patent commons" in which patents are pledged royalty-free to further innovation in areas of broad interest to developers and users of IT.

The patents covered by CA's non-assertion pledge include:

  • Application development and modelling that automates translation between programming languages
  • Business intelligence and analytics that simplify visualisation of multi-dimensional data
  • Systems management and storage management technologies
  • Network management and security tools

A complete list of applicable CA patents is available online. The affected patents also include their counterparts that have been issued in other countries. To qualify for the CA program, licences of products using specified CA intellectual property must be certified by Opensource.org, according to the company.

Jim Stallings, IBM's vice president of intellectual property and standards, said in a statement that CA's efforts will help the open-source movement. "Everyone benefits when innovation is fostered through collaboration and the open exchange of technological advances," he said. "We are gratified to see CA respond so enthusiastically to IBM's call for owners of intellectual property to accelerate interoperability and the adoption of open-source software."