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02.15.10

Patents Roundup: IBM Helps Software Patents Spread to India and Gets Sued for Patent Violations; ELSE Joins LiMo Patent Pool

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents, SUN at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM logo twist

Summary: A defender of (sometimes lobbyist for) software patents gets itself in trouble after Microsoft settles; company that sues Microsoft for software patent violations sidles with LiMo

GUESS WHICH company helps harm the software industry in India using software patents? It is the same company which is doing it in the United States and in Europe. “Indian Patent Office granted on “System for Creating an Application Program Package’” to IBM,” says the president of the FFII (in reference to patent number 176178). Here is the source of the claim, a post titled “Leveraging Through Software Patents” (an ignorant piece that wrongly attributes growth of patents to developments, without evidence).

India is emerging as a world leader in the field of software technology. The IT software and services industry in India grossed an annual revenue of Rs. 37,760 crore (US$ 8.26 billion) during 2000-01, according to the annual industry survey released by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), the apex body of software, e-commerce and IT services industry in India.

[...]

Contrary to popularly held belief that software related patents are not permitted by Indian Patent Office; there are several instances where software related patents have been granted by the Indian Patent Office. One example is the Software related patent no 176178 granted to IBM, USA for “System for Creating an Application Program Package’” by the Indian Patent Office.

Well, thank you, IBM. Thanks for nothing. The system which IBM helped create and sustain is now accommodating patent trolls too. Their impact is definitely subversive:

“Patent trolling” has its rewards.

Tech-sector executives and lawyers say privately—and an informed review of court dockets confirms—that so-called trolls aren’t just surviving, they’re thriving. The essential NPE tactic—suing a broad swath of companies for patent infringement, then settling with each defendant for less than the cost of fighting such a suit—is now an established business model. It’s so solid, in fact, that patent-holders are starting to delve into previously untouched economic sectors, suing small retailers and even photographers.

Deservedly perhaps, IBM has just been hit by a lawsuit from the same company that Microsoft had paid to settle (shades of Eolas [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]). Oracle is sued too and it’s a software patent.

IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp. are among a slew of major technology companies that have been hit with a patent infringement suit by encryption technology company TecSec Inc.

In a suit filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, TecSec claims that nearly a dozen companies have infringed 11 of its patents for technology used to encrypt commercial data, including credit card and health care information.

[...]

In April, TecSec filed suit against Microsoft Corp. in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that components of Windows Vista and other Microsoft products infringed five of the same patents. The suit was dismissed in July after Microsoft agreed to an undisclosed settlement.

In other news, the company which sued Microsoft and Apple for software patent infringement last week has just joined the LiMo Foundation. It is a patent pool amongst other things. Talk about timing.

ELSE – a design house for state-of-the-art mobile technologies and a member of the Emblaze Group – has joined the LiMo Foundation, a global consortium of mobile industry leaders.

Reuters has a series of articles about the mobile software market. One part speaks about LIMO:

LIMO

Linux consortium LiMo hopes to benefit from its focus on giving greater say over software development to telecoms operators.

LiMo Foundation was set up in 2007 by Samsung, NTT DoCoMo (9437.T), France Telecom’s Orange (FTE.PA), and NEC Corp (6701.T), Panasonic Corp (6752.T), Vodafone (VOD.L).

These are some large companies and it’s a shame that they associate themselves with morally corrupt individuals who work for ACCESS, including pornographers. LiMo would be better off without them.

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