A patent IBM was granted last December is for an “invention” that allows independent programmers who might work together to produce a unified software product.

In fact, the patent, 6,658,642 goes further and gives examples such as open source software development such as Linux as the basis for its patent.

The patent says that selected module programmers could earn money while those who don’t win might get a “pre-authorised” small payment as an extra incentive.

Those payments, it continues, would be awarded to developers that submitted letters of intent and who submit modules that pass the module tests but are not selected.

More here.