Bonum Certa Men Certa

IBM Brings OIN-Like Mentality to Europe

What Europe needs is not what the United States needs

IBM Electronic Data Processing Machine



Summary: News suggesting that IBM is majorly among those who brought Peer to Patent to Europe

IBM is a company which we have ambivalent feelings about. On the one hand, IBM helps the Free software phenomenon (embracing it rather than attacking it), but on the other hand, IBM is still a proprietary software company at its core and therefore it advocates for policies which conflict with a Free software mentality/doctrine. It is no secret that IBM prefers to keep software patents and its strategy for defending Free software in the process mostly covers software that IBM depends on. OIN and RPX, for example, do nothing but legitimise the system while also trying to reform it in some ways (lawsuits deterrence), especially in ways that are beneficial to IBM and its allies. On the surface, this may seem fine. OIN makes the current broken system a little less lethal. However, it does distract from much better and more permanent solutions to the problem at hand. Notably, the OIN does nearly nothing to highlight the fundamental problems with software patents. A glance at its backers shows why.



Recently we wrote about an initiative whose impact is largely similar. The problem is, this initiative now goes further into Australia and the United Kingdom which might, in turn, help validate some patents there. To quote the FFII's president::

IBM to validate its software patents through the Peer2Patent in the UK:


The peer-to-patent approach is in some ways making matters worse. It takes patents that may already be dubious and then it reaches out for others to either dismiss or reinforce them. Here is what a pro-patents publication writes about this subject:

The first 20 patent applications in the UK IPO’s peer-to-patent pilot have been posted online


Now it is time for volunteers to garden or groom them for the likes of IBM, eh? Well, citing this report, the FFII's president points out that:

Patent applications granted after using the Peer To Patent website review will be potentially stronger


We explained our views on the subject many times before. Support the FFII, not the Peer To Patent approach. The solution to the patent problem depends on the vested interests; to IBM, "bad" patents are the problem. To Microsoft, "anti-Microsoft" patents are the problem. For the vast majority of people, all software patents (maybe patents in general, depending on the area/country) are a problem.

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