In an effort to spur growth of the open source software movement in health care, IBM has offered access to some 45,000 patents royalty-free for vendors creating software around open source standards.

IBM officials said the move is an effort to spur interoperability
between software systems, which could help hospitals and schools better
integrate patient and student records. Interoperable standards have
been stymied because developers can't use technology based on patents
held by companies invested in proprietary systems, said Sean C. Rush,
general manager of the IBM Global Education Industry unit in Waltham.

This move is in line with IBM's strategy to commiditize the software and generate revenue on services. Here's more on HealthNex, an IBM blog about health care IT.

[Hat tip: FierceHealthcare]