In a statement, Dr John E. Kelly, IBM senior vice president, Technology and Intellectual Property, said: "True innovation leadership is about more than just the numbers of patents granted. It's about innovating to benefit customers, partners and society.
"Our pledge today is the beginning of a new era in how IBM will manage intellectual property."
Not everyone is supportive. Some patent lawyers have came out to say that this is a diversionary tactic.
Florian Mueller, campaign manager of a group lobbying to prevent software patents becoming legal in the European Union, dismissed IBM's move as insubstantial.
"It's just diversionary tactics," wrote Mr Mueller, who leads nosoftwarepatents.com, in a message on the group's website.
"Let's put this into perspective: We're talking about roughly one percent of IBM's worldwide patent portfolio. They file that number of patents in about a month's time," he added.
The move means developers will be able to use the technologies without paying for a licence from the company.
IBM described the step as a "new era" in how it dealt with intellectual property and promised further patents would be made freely available.
Read more: IBM frees 500 software patents