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.
  • 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

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/4/2017: Subsurface 4.6.4, GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.25.1

    Links for the day



  2. Kather Augenstein and Bristows Shift Attention to Germany in an Effort to Ram the Dying UPC Down Everyone's Throats

    Down the throat, hopes Team UPC, the Unitary Patent system will go, even though Britain cannot ratify, throwing the whole thing into grave uncertainty



  3. United for Patent Reform Defends USPTO Director Michelle Lee From Attacks by the Patent Microcosm

    Michelle Lee is finally (if not belatedly) shielded by a bunch of large technology companies; The deep-pocketed industry finally steps in line with our position, which is usually when things turn out the way we advocate for



  4. Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

    A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again



  5. China's Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

    The parasitic elements inside China -- those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) -- are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli



  6. Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

    Links for the day



  7. The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the 'European Inventor Award' Banner

    The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off



  8. Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

    Links for the day



  9. PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won't Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft's

    A new initiative called "PatentShield" is launched, but it's yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions



  10. Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

    The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere



  11. Blog 'Takeovers' by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

    Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC



  12. Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  13. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  14. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  15. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  16. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  17. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  18. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  19. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  20. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  21. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  22. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  24. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  25. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  26. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  27. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  28. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  29. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  30. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International


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