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07.09.19

IBM Has Just Wiped Clean Red Hat’s Position on Software Patents

Posted in Deals, IBM, Law, Patents, Red Hat at 9:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat pukeSummary: Proprietary software/hardware giant buying Red Hat is not good news; but now it is confirmed and damage limitation may be in order

IT IS no longer surprising that Red Hat becomes IBM (or part of IBM). Now it’s official. I got the initial headsup (link to IBM’s own openwashing hogwash) and then saw some blog posts like this one that says “IBM today closed the acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion, marking one of the biggest acquisition of any open source company.”

“IBM will probably wait for a while (a “goodwill gesture”) before it announces what parts of the business it is going to shut down (or whose job will be axed).”Red Hat could sell itself to Microsoft and even considered that. We’re thankful that this never happened. But Red Hat’s main casualty will be its policy on patents. Since IBM calls all the shots it’s safe to assume that Red Hat’s staff has become or will become a major booster of software patents (or at best passive). We also envision IBM putting a lot of pressure on new joiners (from Red Hat) to apply for software patents, maybe ‘spiced up’ with buzzwords such as "hey hi" (AI) so as to dodge 35 U.S.C. § 101. It’s important for IBM to show up at the top of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ladders. IBM also lobbies for software patents in Europe, so Red Hat is perhaps becoming a threat to Europe — even if only by extension.

IBM will probably wait for a while (a “goodwill gesture”) before it announces what parts of the business it is going to shut down (or whose job will be axed). Layoffs are very common at IBM nowadays; it fired over 1,000 employees as recently as a month ago. For the time being we wish Red Hat staff a happy and enjoyable honeymoon. Try to change IBM for the better, from the inside…

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