09.26.17

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Dying Computer Giants Turn Patents Into an Extortion Racket

Posted in Asia, HP, IBM, Patents at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not just Microsoft and Qualcomm but also IBM and HP

HP product

Summary: The Palo Alto, California-based HP Inc. (Hewlett-Packard), whose revenue and operating income are sinking (staff also laid off), sends patents to China while IBM continues to drum up software patents while blackmailing rivals with these

EARLIER this year we wrote about the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, a new front group that’s mostly connected to IBM. They have become the biggest software patents propagandists (louder than Microsoft) and yesterday IAM gave Schecter the platform again (as does Watchtroll, very routinely). It’s more of that patent maximalism lobby, disguised as “education” or “understanding” (indoctrination). To quote the opening part:

Earlier this year a group of senior IP figures, led by Bruce Berman, launched the Center for IP Understanding (CIPU), a non-profit organisation focused on increasing awareness of the impact of IP on society. Later this year CIPU, together with Chicago-Kent College of Law, will hold the first IP Awareness Summit which will address the role of IP understanding in innovation, ideas and value creation.

In this guest post IBM’s chief patent counsel and CIPU board member Manny Schecter explains why all IP stakeholders should throw their support behind efforts to improve the public’s understanding of IP.

Remember that nowadays IBM is just litigating (attacking) companies; we covered many examples of it. We typically see it raised above the surface only when firms refuse to pay IBM ‘protection’ money, whereupon the matter goes to court (i.e. publicly visible).

HP cameraIn the meantime, based on the same site and the same date, HP is selling a lot of patents to Chinese patent parasites. China quickly became a major hub for patent trolls.

Well, as expected from any failing company, the patents end up being put on auction for trolls to cause terror (with blackmail). Remember that HP also swept up many patents from companies that it bought, e.g. Palm. To quote the blog:

On Friday, Ocean Tomo announced the first public patent auction under its latest platform, dubbed Ocean Tomo Bid-Ask Market (OTBA). More than 1,000 rights owned by HP Inc will go under the hammer between now and 20th October; they’re grouped into 45 separate lots across a range of mostly computing-related technology areas. The unique selling point of OTBA is evidently that it is less seller-driven than traditional auction formats, allowing potential buyers to efficiently post anonymous bids.

[...]

OTBA, with its emphasis of providing service to buyers as well as sellers, may go some way toward addressing these concerns. If we see some of these HP assets come under Chinese ownership, it could be a sign that auctions, done right, may eventually find more success in one of Asia’s key buyer markets.

How do existing and former IBM/HP workers feel about those patents of theirs (which they applied for and got granted) ending up as ammunition of patent trolls? The only “friendly” or “defensive” patent is one that does exist in the first place. Red Hat should pay attention because it too can be taken over (even a hostile takeover bid).

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