EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.03.08

A Question About Patents: IBM, OIN, Linux Foundation, and Novell

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM’s patent department is actively lobbying Europe to legalise software patents. They have invested millions in fighting example cases to leading European lawcourts such as the EPO’s Technical Boards of Appeal and the German Federal Court in order to soften and eventually remove European restrictions on patenting software. They have also threatened European politicians that IBM might close down local facilities if software patents are not legalised in Europe. IBM has also prevented the US government from conducting studies on the value of software patents for the national economy. In the wake of the Opensource hype, IBM’s rhetoric has become relatively moderate, but nonetheless it is supported by real pressure. IBM has acquired approximately 1000 European software patents whose legal status is currently unclear. Given the great number of software patents in IBM’s hands, IBM is one of the few software companies who may have a genuine interest in software patentability. Once software patents become assertable in Europe, an IBM tax of several billion EUR per year may be levied on European software companies.” [Read more]

IBM and Microsoft are no enemies. They are inclined to collaborate on some things, as the following new article demonstrates.

The baby SAN that IBM is announcing today supports Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, as well as the current releases of Linux from Red Hat and Novell.

Microsoft does not appear to have cross-licensing agreements with IBM (it’s hard to find examples), so how does that work? By all means, this post is very speculative, so any possibilities that arise should be taken with great deal of caution.

“In fact, OIN seems somewhat close to this ‘umbrella’ establishment..”It emerged in a recent conversation that the Linux Foundation (LF) is not quite so isolated from the issue software patents. In fact, OIN seems somewhat close to this ‘umbrella’ establishment, which Jim Zemlin mentioned in his ‘letter’ published by BusinessWeek last year.

For reasons that were covered here before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], the LF seems like a muchly misunderstood ‘fundation’ [sic], whose goals align directly with its members’ — comprising mainly proprietary software/hardware companies. The Foundation spends a lot of time attacking Solaris rather than focus on greater threats. Jim Zemlin responded rather vainly to claims that his words in an IDG article (and later in the New York Times) were damaging.

One source believes there’s more to the story and considers the LF to be more than just an umbrella, claiming: “it seems to be an IBM proxy.

“Type “system” or “method” in the patent commons search, it is all IBM patents,” says our source.

The same goes for OIN, which is said to also include companies like Red Hat, Google, and Oracle.

Claiming that IBM is everywhere, says our source, “None of them [patents] are really from another company [...] and it is too American”

“The Linux Foundation and OIN bear a certain resemblance.”The Linux Foundation and OIN bear a certain resemblance. Intel is right there in the LF though, so IBM is far from the only titan involved. They have a patent FAQ at OIN, but the action they take against the problem is one that we criticised before. I asked Bob Sutor about patents and IBM, but he didn’t even approve my comment, let alone answer the question contained in it. Why is IBM escaping these questions?

Regarding OIN, it’s seems like an IBM thing (Jerry Rosenthal is a former IBMers). One might even argue that OIN is to IBM what Intellectual Ventures is to Microsoft. Novell's CEO and CTO are also former IBMers and IBM approved the patent deal which Novell signed with Microsoft. Marbux and/or Gary Edwards used to suspect this was a form of collusion.

At some stage, we wish to do some more research and find out where OIN’s current CEO is from. If we could finally explain the relationship between OIN and LF, that would be helpful too. It turns out that OIN has some patents in the LF patent commons. There is a patent commons database in the Linux Foundation. Why this intersection and why so much IBM everywhere?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. AlexH said,

    October 3, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Gravatar

    IBM are huge, it’s not a surprise that they have connections to a lot of IT businesses. Even Microsoft is full of ex-IBM people (e.g., Phelps).

    I doubt they will get their way in Europe; that tide has turned for now. I’d be more worried about multinational treaties personally.

What Else is New


  1. Breaking: EPO Vice-President Željko Topić Loses Defamation Case in Croatia

    The EPO's notorious Vice-President, whose appointment at the EPO is still raising some alarming questions, has just lost his case in Croatia (one of many cases), motivating us to accelerate coverage about the persona known as Željko Topić



  2. Qualys Starts Self-Promotional FUD Campaign, Naming a Bug That Was Already Fixed 2 Years Ago and Distros Have Covered With Patches

    Responding to the media blitz which paints GNU/Linux as insecure despite the fact that bugs were evidently found and fixed



  3. The Openwashing of Microsoft is Now Threatening to Eliminate the Identity of Free Software

    More openwashing of Microsoft, including in the corporate media, shows just to what great an extent and how quickly the old "Microsoft Open Source" Big Lie grows feet



  4. Links 27/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Dell Precision With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Media Attack on Free Software and GNU/Linux

    Brainwash war is still being waged by Microsoft and its friends to convince people that Windows is universally dominant and that Microsoft is now part of the Free software world



  6. Microsoft Accounting Practices After Fire Again, After Previous Abuses and Book-Cooking

    After the infamous IRS brawl comes another confrontation between Microsoft and the SEC, which is unhappy with Microsoft for seemingly cooking the books again



  7. Links 26/1/2015: Debian 8.0 “Jessie” RC1, Linux Kernel 3.19 RC6

    Links for the day



  8. Links 25/1/2015: Android Wear 5.0, Tizen in Bangladesh

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  10. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  11. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  12. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  13. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  14. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  15. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  17. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  18. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  19. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  20. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  22. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  23. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  24. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  25. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  26. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  27. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  28. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  29. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  30. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts