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

08.12.09

Guess Which Software Giant is Promoting Software Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 4:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM Netvista

Summary: IBM is still advocating a barrier to Free software

SEVERAL readers have independently notified us of more patent insanity — a system whereby new entrants are denied an opportunity to compete.

In Re Bilski is off to the Supreme Court, which could mean an ultimate elimination of software patents in the United States. But there is (at least) one major company standing in the way of such destruction of software patents. That company is not Microsoft (not in this case anyway); It is IBM, whose amicus brief [PDF] (HTML copy) in the Bilski case is far from helpful to Free software. IBM is truly blowing an opportunity here. FFII’s president argues that “IBM says that [software patenting] has promoted the free sharing of source code and fueled the growth of open source software.”

“IBM have a huge patent portfolio across all kinds of things… but they have a blanket position of not chasing open source projects over them…”
      –Ng
“IBM have a huge patent portfolio across all kinds of things,” writes Ng, “but they have a blanket position of not chasing open source projects over them… maybe it’s not blanket, but they’re part of OIN.” It is not necessarily a good thing because it only legitimises software patents and the OIN is now harvesting more patents.

See the footnote on page 23, which says: “Given the reality that software source code is human readable, and object code can be reverse engineered, it is difficult for software developers to resort to secrecy. Thus, without patent protection, the incentives to innovate in the field of software are significantly reduced. Patent protection has promoted the free sharing of source code on a patentee’s terms—which has fueled the explosive growth of open source software development.

“Note the lack of a citation supporting the proposition stated in that last sentence,” notes another reader.

In other disappointing news, watch how patents are putting a price on life. The New York Times fails to convey what a travesty it truly is.

Dr. Quake calculates that the most recently sequenced human genome cost $250,000 to decode, and that his machine brings the cost to less than a fifth of that.

How ‘affordable’. Human life is now in private hands.

Also see this new essay titled “Poverty Kills” and remember relationships between the Gates Foundation and the pharmaceutical industry (it is a critique by the way).

How do you even decide what minimal nutritional requirements are? Why three? The answer is simple: just count deaths instead.

To the industry which explores medicine and genome, death usually means business.

“The day that the software sector forms a clear front against software patents, as pharma does for a unitary patent system… will be the day our cause comes close to winning.” —Pieter Hintjens, Fosdem07 Interview

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

3 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    August 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Gravatar

    First mistake is that they brush over reverse engineering of binaries as if it was a similar thing (ie, as complete and efficient) to having human-readable source code.

    Yeah, Bob. That is why FOSS stands for Free and Reversed-Engineered Software. That is why IBM will from this day forward distribute any source code at low cost to everyone that asks (since reverse engineering is so easy, cheap, and effective — why anger your clients for no real reason). Sure.

    The second mistake is that contributing to FOSS has many advantages if you are a hardware company, service provider, or a user .. and that includes the vast majority of the world (including IBM on all three counts). It’s these groups (and others) that are contributing to FOSS. They benefit immediately and directly. Since patents are easier to come up with than a solid piece of software, would so many people be wasting their time writing software at such low gains (if we believe IBM) and not going after patents instead? Or is it that the people contributing to and using/leveraging FOSS are really gaining?

    IBM wants the government to keep handing out unethical, stifling, and unconstitutional monopolies to prop up profit margins and unjust weapons against competitors despite the costs to the rest of society and to innovation. It’s not that patents are needed. It’s that they continue to be profitable assets to those that take the time (and have the money, experience, and lack of ethics) to exploit that broken system that survives on the backs of the many that are writing software instead of writing patents.

    Microsoft and IBM want to continue to keep their levers so as to buy out for cheap the companies doing the real work and keep companies growing fast from FOSS unable to escape heavy Industry-Giants Taxes.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/08/12/mckool-smith-i4i-vs-msft/comment-page-1/#comment-72064

  2. Charles Oliver said,

    August 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Gravatar

    As pointed out, IBM are a member of the Open Invention Network.

    It’s not terribly surprising that a company that is so heavily invested in patents is riding to defend them. IBM’s patents give them a competitive advantage.

    If anything the number of large companies represented in these friends of the court briefs shows what a big advantage patents are to incumbents in the market.

  3. BrownieBoy said,

    August 13, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Gravatar

    Scarey stuff, maybe. But on the positive side, it’s also a restraint on Microsoft’s patent lawsuits.

    Microsoft has been poking around the edges so far – i.e. the TomTom thing. But it knows that it can’t risk open patent warfare with IBM. That would be MAD (as in Mutually Assured Destruction).

    And IBM has been Linux-friendly so far. So some good as well as bad here, IMHO.

What Else is New


  1. Understanding Thierry Breton: “Rhodiagate” and the Vivendi Universal Affair

    When the "Rhodia affair" became the "Breton affair"



  2. Links 18/11/2019: Last Linux RC, OSMC Updated

    Links for the day



  3. What GitHub is to Open Source

    Lots of prisoners inside GitHub



  4. Openwashing Institutionalised NPEs (OIN) and Software Patents With Notorious Managers From the EPO

    There’s a strong push for software patents in Europe (basically fake European Patents on abstract ideas) and IAM leads/participates in it with help from OIN, Grant Philpott (EPO) and — maybe soon — Breton (EU)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 17, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 17, 2019



  6. Links 17/11/2019: Slax Beta and Arch Conf 2019 Report





  7. Understanding Thierry Breton: The “Cost-Killer” Tries to Tame the National Debt

    The oligarchic policy of Thierry Breton at Bercy



  8. Reactions to Last Week's Thierry Breton Hearing

    Nobody is particularly impressed by Thierry Breton except those who know little about him (and he contributes to this lack of knowledge by obstructing, omitting, and misleading)



  9. The Open Invention Network Has Become a Guard Dog of (Some) Patent Trolls and It Misrepresents Us Under the Guise of 'Open Source'

    The Open Invention Network (OIN), in collaboration with Fraunhöfer, is promoting software patents and all sorts of other nonsense as part of ‘open’ standards in a new paper sponsored by the EU and edited by the former EPO Chief Economist Nikolaus Thumm (not Battistelli's choice); this is another reminder of the fact that OIN misrepresents Free/Open Source software (FOSS) developers and their interests



  10. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 16, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 16, 2019



  11. Unitary Patent is Dead Partly Because the EPO Demonstrated That EPC is Being Routinely Violated, Illegal Patents Granted

    Some elements of Team UPC have given up, whereas others try to push the lie that Unitary Patent/Unified Patent Court (UPC) is not an EU thing and that therefore everything is fine



  12. USPTO Rewards Microsoft for Corruption at ISO by Teaching People Proprietary OOXML and Promoting Its Use

    The world's most important patent office promotes Microsoft lock-in, revealing not only corporate bias but also highlighting ways in which Microsoft crimes continue to pay off



  13. No, Startpage is Not Dutch Anymore

    Startpage is still clinging onto perceptions rather than truths; it means that Startpage isn't just betraying privacy but it's also dishonest and untrustworthy



  14. Understanding Thierry Breton: Chirac's Entrepreneurial “Joker”

    Minister in charge of the public treasury was not a career politician but an “entrepreneur” with a proven track-record as a financial wizard and “cost-killer”



  15. Links 16/11/2019: New Debian Release, Wine staging 4.20

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, November 15, 2019



  17. Microsoft Doesn't Love Linux, It Just Buys Linux

    Microsoft's takeover or abduction of its opposition's voice isn't an act of love but an act of occupation, a hostile colonisation that enables digital pillage and plunder



  18. Koch's Reply to EPO Through ILO and Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO Documents Help Show That ILO-AT is Played by EPO Management

    Sending cases back and forth, without the complainant being involved, means that justice is in eternal ‘limbo’ and thus the abusive management of the European Patent Office (EPO) — first Team Battistelli and now Team Campinos — can get away with anything the bullies do (no judgment of substance being delivered)



  19. EPO Running ILO's Tribunal (ILO-AT) 'in a Loop' to Perpetually Delay and Drain the EPO's Complainants (Aggrieved Staff) Out of Money

    ILO’s Administrative Tribunal — a court for aggrieved EPO staff and other international organisations’ staff (usually known as ILO-AT for short) — is a major farce; when “time is money” and lawyers charge as much as 400 euros an hour the EPO’s management can exploit/misuse its cash reserves to also game justice and buy legal outcomes



  20. ILO is Not Functioning and ILO-AT Helps the Abusive Management of the European Patent Office

    It is becoming increasingly clear, based for example on Koch v EPO, that ILO-AT is where a lot of money will be spent on lawyers and rarely will that result in real justice (but it certainly helps EPO management pretend that staff has safeguards)



  21. Links 16/11/2019: Wine 4.20, Picolibc 1.1

    Links for the day



  22. Understanding Thierry Breton: Moral Responsibility for “a Capitalism That Kills”?

    "...France Télécom which had previously been defined by an ethos of public service, by egalitarian working conditions and by a sense of universal mission, had now been transformed into a "cash machine” whose sole purpose was to generate shareholder value on international financial markets."



  23. FOSSPatents Conference is Against FOSS, Promoting the FOSS-Hostile Construct Known as RAND or FRAND

    Do not be misled by the term Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in the name FOSSPatents and whatever relates to it (e.g. FOSSPatents Conference); it's not about FOSS but against FOSS, or pro-FRAND



  24. Europe is Under Attack

    European politicians or political candidates pretend to be 'candid'; but they're agents of Power, or put another way, they're there to make the rich and powerful class even richer and more powerful by passing new, ruinous laws in the name of 'the people' or 'for SMEs'



  25. Links 15/11/2019: New Opera and Brave, GNU/Linux Flatpa(c)ked

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 14, 2019



  27. Understanding Thierry Breton: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France

    "In each of these cases, the suicide served as a symbolic act of protest to denounce workplace conditions at France Télécom and attract public attention to its practices."



  28. Thierry Breton's Video/Live Grilling is Over, But the Grilling Continues Online

    Elite politicians aren't reluctant to give Thierry Breton the high seat (or throne); but everyone else realises that this resembles a corporate takeover more than anything



  29. The EPO's Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

    With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China's ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms



  30. Links 14/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.4 and GCC 7.5 Released

    Links for the day


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