03.07.16

Avoid IBM Until It Rescinds/Retracts/Reverses Its Weaponisation of Software Patents

Posted in IBM, Patents at 8:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Already missing Samuel Palmisano…

Samuel J. Palmisano
The “good guy”, before and after the patent aggression era at IBM. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Summary: IBM, which boasts the world’s largest patent portfolio, is transforming into a patent aggressor (with software patents to make matters even worse) and negative reaction from the market may be needed to put an end to this

IBM spent well over a decade telling the Free/Open Source software (FOSS) world that IBM is the “good cop”, or that its stockpile of software patents was somehow acceptable because of OIN (originally run by a guy from IBM) or something along those lines. Well, the mask is off now. IBM is becoming a patents company, a close partner of Apple (Android foe), and it is eager to make income from patents rather than products. As IAM put it the other day (IAM on IBM): “The assignments involving Globalfoundries entities probably reveal the company’s acquisition of IBM’s semiconductor unit – a deal for which Big Blue paid almost $1.5 billion to wash its hands of what had become, for it, an unsustainable business. IBM itself was the second most prolific assignor of assets (15,260) last year.”

A lot of these IBM patents can now be used offensively by other companies, not just Globalfoundries but many others too. This is bad news because IBM’s patents head honcho is pushing for software patents [1, 2] (expansion of them to more countries) and then suing with them (we covered patent aggression from IBM last week). This is what typically happens when patent holders get desperate for cash.

“IBM can now basically sue just about any Internet company, including tiny ones, or otherwise receive “protection money”.”“According to the most recent complaint,” WIPR wrote, “IBM has made repeated attempts to negotiate a licence with Groupon but the company has refused to take one.”

To “licence” is a euphemism for “get protection money” and it sure sounds like Microsoft’s modus operandi when it comes to Linux. Good journalists noted that “IBM is pushing big Internet companies to pay patent licensing fees in part because IBM invented the Prodigy service, a precursor to the modern Web.”

IBM can now basically sue just about any Internet company, including tiny ones, or otherwise receive “protection money”. This leads to a certain chilling effect and discourages startups.

“There are no “good” or tolerable software patents. When companies are in good (financial) mood their shareholders don’t encourage suing competitors, but watch what’s becoming of IBM.”There are companies out there, such as Google, which despite getting more and more patents (including software patents and other new examples) never sued other companies with patents, not even when provoked. This does not guarantee, however, that when Google suffers its demise (all companies will die one day), especially if that happens within the timeframe of the next two decades, it will actually refrain from resorting to patent aggression. The only real solution here is to abolish software patents, irrespective of whom they get assigned to (whether to Red Hat with GNU/Linux, IBM with OIN and layoffs, or Google which is thriving at least for now). There are no “good” or tolerable software patents. When companies are in good (financial) mood their shareholders don’t encourage suing competitors, but watch what’s becoming of IBM.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2016/03/07/ibm-a-patent-aggressor/

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 2/8/2021: XEyes 1.2 and Fwupd 1.6.2 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Freenode is IRC... in Collapse

    Freenode is now down to just 13,194 online users, which makes it the 6th biggest IRC network. Months ago it was #1 with almost 6 times as many users as those below it. The graph above shows what the latest blunder has done (another massive drop in less than a week, with a poem and the all-time chart at the very bottom).



  3. Barrier and Synergy Can Work Together, Connecting Lots of Different Machines

    Barrier and Synergy can be configured to work properly in conjunction, though only provided different port numbers (non-default) are specified; in my current setup I have two computers to my right, working over Barrier, and two older ones on the left, working over Synergy; the video explains the setup and the underlying concepts



  4. Links 2/8/2021: Open Science in France and Zoom Pays to Settle Privacy Violations

    Links for the day



  5. It Almost Feels Like Battistelli Still Runs the EPO (by Extension/Proxy)

    The "Mafia" that destroyed the EPO is still being put in charge and is using the EPO for shameless self-promotion; it is never being held accountable, not even when courts demand remediatory action and staff seeks reparations



  6. [Meme] Vichyite Battistelli Committed Crimes and His Buddy António Snubs Courts That Confirm These Are Crimes

    Staff of the EPO is coming to realise (or reaching acceptance of the fact) that the spirit of Battistelli — not just people he left in charge of the EPO — dooms the Office and there’s no way out of this mess



  7. Links 2/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC4 and 20% Growth in Steam

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 01, 2021



  9. Links 1/8/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 RC2 and Lakka 3.3

    Links for the day



  10. Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

    Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s



  11. Links 1/8/2021: 4MLinux 37.0, IBM Fluff, and USMCA Update

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft Knows That When Shareholders Realise Azure Has Failed the Whole Boat Will Sink

    The paranoia at Microsoft is well justified; they've been lying to shareholders to inflate share prices and they don't really deliver the goods, just false hopes and unfulfilled promises



  13. [Meme] Nobody and Nothing Harms Europe's Reputation Like the EPO Does

    Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, has caused severe harm/damage to Europe’s economy and reputation; its attacks on the courts and on justice itself (even on constitutions in the case of UPC — another attempt to override the law and introduce European software patents) won’t be easily forgotten; SUEPO has meanwhile (on Saturday, link at the bottom in German) reminded people that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have driven away the EPO’s most valuable workers or moral compass



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 31, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 31, 2021



  15. [Meme] When it Comes to Server Share, Microsoft Azure is Minuscule (But Faking It)

    Don't believe the lies told by Microsoft's charlatans and frauds; Azure has been a total failure and that's why there are layoffs as well



  16. [Meme] Mozilla Has Turned From Technical to Marketing

    Way back, long before Mozilla and Firefox got hijacked by politics (turning Mozilla into a VPN reseller that lies about its stance on privacy), geeks were driving the company, not corporate lawyers and spying/marketing people



  17. Over 1,500 (Known/Unorphaned) Gemini Capsules and Over 160,000 Page Requests in gemini.techrights.org During July

    Techrights is expanding at gemini:// (Gemini space) and over 1,500 capsules are reported to have been found (less than 4 months ago it was about 1,000)



  18. Links 31/7/2021: Kernel Additions and Linux Mint 20.3 Release Date

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Azure Stagnating

    Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis, former Microsoft employee



  20. For 17 Days (and Counting) António Campinos Has Failed to Respond to Call for Compliance With the Law

    Team Campinos has been so arrogant and so evasive that there’s no indication (yet) that it will follow court orders (Willy ‘Guillaume’ Minnoye openly bragged about ignoring court orders and he's still cheering for the EPO's abuses); therefore, staff of the EPO takes collective action



  21. Raw: Elodie Bergot Breaking the Law by Threatening Against the Exercise of Fundamental Rights

    Over the years we saw a number of rude letters from Elodie Bergot, the grossly under-qualified spouse of a friend of Vichyite Benoît Battistelli; most of these we never published (we already have these and can always publish if the need arises), but those paranoid and insecure “Mafia”-like ‘cabal’ need to be exposed for the mobsters they are; for nearly a decade they’ve illegally bullied EPO staff in clear violation of the law (and for over 3 years António Campinos has kept those bullies on board); why does Europe do nothing and why is it never holding high-profile abusers accountable (only low-level facilitators)? Is it because the EU too is being infiltrated by them?



  22. Linspire Should Be Avoided in 2021 Just Like It Was Avoided 14 Years Ago

    The brand "Linspire" was brought back, but the agenda seems to be more or less the same, namely pushing proprietary software and serving Microsoft's commercial agenda (in 'Linux' clothing)



  23. The Death of Freenode Would Be Freenode's Own Fault

    Freenode is going dark and now it’s asking people to create accounts at IRC.com (just to get back into the network that they may have already occupied for decades) as if Freenode owns “IRC” as a whole



  24. Links 31/7/2021: KDE Progress and Activision Catastrophe

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, July 30, 2021



  26. The Smartest Meter of All

    Yesterday a lady came over to take our power readings (electric/gas meter); secure these people's jobs as they help protect people's privacy (dignity) at home



  27. [Meme] A Web of False Dichotomies

    A reminder that Techrights is fully available (all blog posts and wiki pages) in gemini://



  28. Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

    Freenode continues to perish faster than we've imagined; it's a good thing that we've had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we're still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it



  29. Links 31/7/2021: Wine 6.14 and Chrome 93 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. European Media Does Not Care About Europe's Second-Largest Institution Crushing Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights

    New video about the latest publication from SUEPO (the EPO’s staff union); it was published yesterday, seeing that the “Mafia” (what EPO staff actually calls the management!) hasn’t done anything to comply with a wide-ranging set of court rulings from ILO-AT; why has the media said nothing about this and what does that say about today’s media? The material is all in the public domain, in widely understood languages, and SUEPO spoke about it more than 3 weeks ago.


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