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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/10/03/an-issue-of-patents/

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. GNU/Linux News Sites Need to Promote Software Freedom, Not Binary and Proprietary Blobs Merely Compiled for GNU/Linux

    There has been lots of proprietary fluff in GNU/Linux 'news' sites so far this week; it merits an explanation or clarification, e.g. why we should generally reject proprietary stuff and instead promote Free/libre alternatives



  2. Links 3/3/2021: OpenSSH 8.5 and Absolute64 20210302 Released

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 02, 2021



  4. Links 3/3/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 154, Red Hat Satellite 6.8.4, Kiwi TCMS 10.0

    Links for the day



  5. Links 2/3/2021: KDE Plasma 5.21.2, Qt 6.1 Beta, Refund of Pre-installed Windows

    Links for the day



  6. 'GatoKeeper'/IP Kat (AstraZeneca) Still Suppressing and Censoring the Public Views or Internal EPO Talks About EPO Corruption

    The suppression of comments critical of the EPO‘s administration (especially corruption scandals surrounding António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli) is a real problem; those ought not be a taboo subject in comments (where bloggers used to speak about those issues openly and regularly)



  7. Pocock on Removing Cognitive Bias Around Consent

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, March 01, 2021



  9. Links 2/3/2021: Maui 1.2.1, RSS Guard 3.9.0

    Links for the day



  10. ZDNet Really Hates Golang (Maybe Because Microsoft Does)

    The Golang programming language seems to be the target of intense FUD campaigns from sites connected to Microsoft, so it’s likely a bit of a Nemesis/endgame to Microsoft monoculture (unlike Rust, which Microsoft has already pocketed and is actively besieging to promote Microsoft monopoly and hardware monoculture)



  11. Links 1/3/2021: KStars 3.5.2, ET: Legacy 2.77, Flameshot 0.9

    Links for the day



  12. Five Years of António Campinos Coverage in Techrights (We Correctly Predicted His Presidency in March 2016)

    We've warned about António Campinos since March of 2016; well, António Campinos isn't just EPO President right now but he's also an oppressor who demonises the union of the EPO's staff



  13. In 2021 the EPO Works for Parasites Instead of Scientists (and It Cannot Even Hide That Anymore)

    Europe's second-largest institution is working for those who attack instead of create (or those who attack actual creators, with lousy and sketchy patents as ammunition)



  14. Links 1/3/2021: Manjaro ARM 21.02 and First Linux 5.12 RC Released

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 28, 2021



  16. On Gangstalking and Victim-Blaming

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  17. If the Web Can Be Increasingly Replaced (or Complemented) by Gemini and IPFS Etc., Then Large Monopolists Will Try to Dominate Those

    Monopolists and sociopaths won't be clapping and cheering for whatever stands a chance of replacing the Web (or Big Banks); if they ever embrace those replacements, it'll be to dominate and in turn undermine these



  18. Links 28/2/2021: Nitrux 1.3.8 and Kraft 0.96

    Links for the day



  19. Techrights Over 3 Internet Protocols and From the Command Line, Using Either Curl/Wget/Text Editor (Over WWW) or IPFS or Gemini

    A quick demo of how Techrights can be accessed without a browser, either over gemini:// or over http://



  20. The Command Line for Weather and Football Scores, Among Other Stuff

    A lot of stuff can be done from the command line and productivity (not to mention privacy) enhanced by automation and scripting over the Web (or even Gemini, as we shall show in a future video)



  21. You Know Gemini Space is Getting a Lot Bigger When You Need to Implement DDOS Protection

    Techrights is currently working on tools or programs that help detect and respond to DDOS attacks (or abusive over-consumption of pages) over gemini://



  22. The Fall of The Register

    A word of caution about The Register, a British publisher that nowadays does a lot of reputation laundering for Microsoft and Bill Gates (instead of news about actual technology, as opposed to clown computing, big brands, and oligarchs)



  23. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 27, 2021



  24. Links 27/2/2021: IPFS 0.8, OnionShare 2.3.1, and New Stuff in KDE

    Links for the day



  25. The Internet After Social Control Media (and Maybe After the World Wide Web Too)

    There seems to be a growing trend of protests and backlash against centralised Internet disservices; there's also growing dissatisfaction over bloat and spyware, which the Web rendered a 'norm'



  26. SCO's Darl McBride is Finished (Bankruptcy)

    Some news about the site and about the long-forgotten SCO, whose infamous old (and sacked) Darl McBride (responsible for decade-long attacks on Linux) loses everything, based on fresh legal documents



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, February 26, 2021



  28. Links 26/2/2021: Wine 6.3, Genode OS Framework 21.02

    Links for the day



  29. Links 26/2/2021: GNU Poke 1.0 is Out and Rocky Linux Leaves Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Status in Web Servers is So Bad That It Has Fallen Off Charts, is Now Partly Delisted

    In several categories or criteria Microsoft is no longer even listed by Netcraft; the share has become rather minuscule during the pandemic, which convinced more companies to explore expense-cutting moves


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

Recent Posts