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

03.03.16

Shortly After Massive Layoffs ‘King of Patents’ IBM is Using Software Patents to Sue Much Smaller Companies

Posted in America, IBM, Patents at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not your father’s IBM

Ginni Rometty

Photo source (modified slightly): The 10 Most Powerful Women in Technology Today

Summary: IBM is becoming predatory as the business is sinking and all it has got left is a big pile of patents, including a lot of software patents that it now weaponises

WHEN the corporate media covers the problem with patents and suggests a reform it often alludes to “patent trolls” but not to large companies that are equally bad if not worse. They are in many ways the culprits, as it’s them and their people — like David Kappos in IBM’s case — who push hard for software patents (that patent trolls too are using).

The other day the EFF's Nazer showed how software patents in the US do so much damage for benefit of very few people, who are parasites. Nazer did not mention software patents explicitly and as usual he focused on “trolls”. As an article about it has just put it: “”Personalized content” is a phrase so vague that it could mean just about anything. That quality makes it just about perfect for use by a patent troll. This month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s patent lawyers have honed in on a patent describing a way of “presenting personalized content relating to offered products and services,” owned by Phoenix Licensing LLC, a patent-holding company controlled by Richard Libman, an Arizona man who’s sued more that 100 companies.” [...] Wordy language notwithstanding, the patents look like the type of “do it on a computer” claims that should get tossed out as “almost surely invalid” under the Alice v. CLS Bank Supreme Court precedent, EFF lawyer Daniel Nazer explains in his blog post. “Unsurprisingly, given that its patents are so vulnerable to challenge under the Alice standard, it has filed all of these lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas.” That plaintiff-friendly court is less likely to invalidate patents under Alice.”

“The company is a patent aggressor and we cannot help but wonder how the Linux Foundation feels about IBM not only lobbying for software patents but also suing companies using these.”Since it’s about Alice, one immediately knows it involves abstract software patents. But it’s too expensive to deal with in a court of law. Even software patents which one knows for sure are not truly valid can be used as a weapon but not only by patent trolls but also by a patent monster like IBM, which always takes the lions’s share of patents at the USPTO. Well, IBM has just announced major layoffs; but worse — it’s becoming a patent aggressor more so than in the recent past. “IBM can sue any webshop with those 4 broad patents from the late nineties,” Benjamin Henrion wrote this morning. “IBM is suing Groupon with 4 software patents,” he added, “probably trivial ones,” pointing to two articles [1, 2]. IBM is not responding to a company that’s suing it first. To quote the first report: “IBM has sued online deals marketplace Groupon for infringing four of its patents, including two that emerged from Prodigy, the online service launched by IBM and partners ahead of the World Wide Web.”

The latter article says: “IBM is suing Groupon over alleged patent infringement, court documents revealed Wednesday. It’s the latest in a series of lawsuits the computing pioneer has filed against tech companies that it says rely on groundwork it laid.

“IBM filed a lawsuit in Delaware district court alleging that the Chicago-based online marketplace ignored repeated alerts stemming to 2011 that it was unfairly using IBM inventions.”

“It’s often said that patents are only trophies for vanity until a company is collapsing, whereupon it chooses to sue rivals or sell patents to aggressive entities, including trolls.”Remember that IBM is pushing India to grant patents on software. It’s the same thing it did in Europe and in New Zealand, so shame on IBM. It not only amasses software patents (while using OIN to pretend that it’s all fine and dandy) but also uses them for litigation, not just against large companies (like Sun) and not just using hardware patents. The face IBM does not want you to see is IBM without the “open” makeup (openwashing of everything including proprietary, grossly overpriced mainframes). The company is a patent aggressor and we cannot help but wonder how the Linux Foundation feels about IBM not only lobbying for software patents but also suing companies using these.

It’s often said that patents are only trophies for vanity until a company is collapsing, whereupon it chooses to sue rivals or sell patents to aggressive entities, including trolls. IBM proves that right.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 2/7/2020: Microsoft Partner Says GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops at 4% Even After Lock-downs, OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 and Mageia 8 Alpha 1 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Why People Should Never Ever Use DuckDuckGo

    DuckDuckGo is another privacy abuser in disguise; the above forum thread enumerates key reasons



  3. After 2 Years and 2 Days António Campinos is a Perfect Leader, Fostering EPO Abuses While Smiling

    EPO corruption persists, but this time the corruption enjoys better marketing/PR and complicit (or at best silent) media



  4. [Humour] As If Monopolies for Life Will Save People's Lives...

    The mentality of monopoly or the mindset of patent maximalism has been quick to exploit the deaths of half a million



  5. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 01, 2020



  6. IBM-Funded FSF Censors Itself on Software Patents

    Donald Robertson’s article bemoaning and openly condemning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over software patents, which it illegally grants in some cases, was modified a week later; and why? One can only guess… (but remember that the FSF’s foremost sponsor is lobbying against 35 U.S.C. § 101 and for software patents)



  7. [Humour/Meme] Remember That As Recently as Last Year Microsoft Was Still Shaking Down and Even Suing Companies Over 'Linux Patent Infringement'

    There's no 'new Microsoft' except a (better at) lying Microsoft; its covert actions tell us a lot about its ongoing hatred of GNU/Linux, which it is assaulting in new and more sophisticated ways



  8. Contrary to Common Misconceptions, Free Software is More 'Corporate' or More 'Enterprise-Grade' Than Proprietary Abandonware (All Proprietary Software Will Die)

    Free software can leverage the superficial and bland boardroom lingo/slang to promote itself; it would definitely harm or dilute/weaken the terms which proprietary software giants like to leverage against us



  9. Social Control Media Will Not Exist One Day

    Digital obsolescence and Internet bitrot — that’s what Social Control Media is really good for; as many Google+ ‘users’ (useds) found out, they’re just being ‘farmed’ for their ‘content’, which is neither valuable nor resilient (definitely of no value to Google)



  10. What Freedom of Software Actually Means to Us

    Liberty or libre (freedom) is about more than brands or personalities, as names or institutions or individuals can change or completely perish; but concepts outlast superficialities



  11. [Humour] Thinking Beyond Just the Linux Brand

    We're supposed to believe that because "Linux" is dominant we finally have freedom; but almost all the very big companies that are using GNU/Linux leverage it for freedom-hostile purposes and keep about 99% of their code secret from us, so the fight for software freedom must go on



  12. Corporate Media Blames 'China' and 'Open Source' for Back Doors in Microsoft's Intentionally Flawed Proprietary Software That's Causing Chaos

    'Red Scare' tactics are being used to divert attention away from Microsoft's incompetence and conspiracy with the NSA (to put back doors in everything, essentially making all software inherently vulnerable, by design)



  13. Microsoft Has Infiltrated Authorities and/or Their Consultation Processes

    In the European Union, the United States and just about everywhere else in the world one can find Microsoft officials replacing public officials, as if the decision-making too has been outsourced to the "Good Folks" from Microsoft



  14. Links 1/7/2020: Tails 4.8, Serpent OS

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 30, 2020



  16. EPO Management Celebrates the Lowering of Patent Quality While Granting Invalid Patents (IPs) Instead of European Patents (EPs)

    Europe's most autocratic institution continues to cheat and lie to everybody; even twice in one day, together with... the Communist Party of China (through CNIPA)



  17. Links 30/6/2020: OpenSUSE Leap 15.2, 4MLinux 34.0 Beta and IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 146

    Links for the day



  18. [Humour] There's Always a Way... (to Grant Patents on Almost Anything)

    The referral from European Patent Office (EPO) President António Campinos leaves the door open to patents on life, provided one paints those as uniquely clever, e.g. GMO (same tricks for software patents in Europe with “Hey Hi” — an overblown buzz wave)



  19. Crocodiles Can Only Ever Fake Empathy

    Greenwashing, pinkwashing, openwashing and abduction of various authentic civil rights movements (centered around gender, race, and sometimes economic issues) is very easy and cheap relative to the depths of corporate pockets; the problem is, those things help distract the 'masses' from objectively immoral and universally unacceptable acts



  20. [Humour/Meme] History in the Making or History Being Rewritten?

    he idea that history can just totally eliminate particular people and particular views overlooks the very nature of historical studies; banning words impedes the telling of history itself and society cannot tackle the underlying issues without talking about them



  21. A Lot of Things Are Offensive to Someone and Appeasing the Easily Offended is an Endless Adventure That Can Offend Free Speech Ideals

    Free speech may be the main casualty of the recent flamewars, which were initially rationalised as ethics-driven and nowadays boil down to speech police



  22. Feeling Vindicated About the Harms of Social Control Media Being Widely Recognised

    The cleansing of social control media sites reinforces our long-held views about social control media in general



  23. [Humour/Meme] ZDNet Promoting LOT/OIN as a Force for Good. Says a Lot About ZDNet...

    ZDNet has long been a mouthpiece or a parrot for LOT and OIN (overlaps exist); that says so much about the software patents agenda of ZDNet and its parent company, which became defunct 6 months ago, then passed to friends of Bill Gates (privately-owned)



  24. Linus Torvalds Explains Why GNU/Linux Development Speeds Up (Likely Owing to Coronavirus Lock-downs)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has so far boosted not only GNU/Linux market share; it's also speeding up development, leaving proprietary software players in the ashes (it's harder for them to make sales and to pay their developers)



  25. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, June 29, 2020



  26. The MeatHub

    Coding liberates! Join Microsoft's MeatHub today!



  27. [Humour] “Technological Progress is Like an Axe in the Hands of a Pathological Criminal,” Albert Einstein, Famous European Patent Clerk

    The European Patent Office’s (EPO) António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli continued their regime of illegal digital surveillance; is anyone holding them accountable? No.



  28. The Rumours of North Carolina Layoffs and the Atmosphere at IBM/Red Hat Under New Management

    IBM would send the wrong message if it laid off even a single Red Hat employee; we shall be watching closely how IBM changes (if at all) its patent policy and what kind of staff it is planning to let go (maybe the in-house lawyers, which would be a sign of progress)



  29. Links 29/6/2020: GnuCash 4.0, Firefox 78 Available

    Links for the day



  30. [Humour] Nothing Says Feminism Like Microsoft Corporation, JEDI Winner

    Microsoft’s shallow claims of support for women are laughable at best (it’s what some women have called “corporate feminism”); but facts-free marketing, if enough money is sunk into it, can have exceptionally broad reach


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