EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.03.08

A Question About Patents: IBM, OIN, Linux Foundation, and Novell

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM’s patent department is actively lobbying Europe to legalise software patents. They have invested millions in fighting example cases to leading European lawcourts such as the EPO’s Technical Boards of Appeal and the German Federal Court in order to soften and eventually remove European restrictions on patenting software. They have also threatened European politicians that IBM might close down local facilities if software patents are not legalised in Europe. IBM has also prevented the US government from conducting studies on the value of software patents for the national economy. In the wake of the Opensource hype, IBM’s rhetoric has become relatively moderate, but nonetheless it is supported by real pressure. IBM has acquired approximately 1000 European software patents whose legal status is currently unclear. Given the great number of software patents in IBM’s hands, IBM is one of the few software companies who may have a genuine interest in software patentability. Once software patents become assertable in Europe, an IBM tax of several billion EUR per year may be levied on European software companies.” [Read more]

IBM and Microsoft are no enemies. They are inclined to collaborate on some things, as the following new article demonstrates.

The baby SAN that IBM is announcing today supports Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, as well as the current releases of Linux from Red Hat and Novell.

Microsoft does not appear to have cross-licensing agreements with IBM (it’s hard to find examples), so how does that work? By all means, this post is very speculative, so any possibilities that arise should be taken with great deal of caution.

“In fact, OIN seems somewhat close to this ‘umbrella’ establishment..”It emerged in a recent conversation that the Linux Foundation (LF) is not quite so isolated from the issue software patents. In fact, OIN seems somewhat close to this ‘umbrella’ establishment, which Jim Zemlin mentioned in his ‘letter’ published by BusinessWeek last year.

For reasons that were covered here before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], the LF seems like a muchly misunderstood ‘fundation’ [sic], whose goals align directly with its members’ — comprising mainly proprietary software/hardware companies. The Foundation spends a lot of time attacking Solaris rather than focus on greater threats. Jim Zemlin responded rather vainly to claims that his words in an IDG article (and later in the New York Times) were damaging.

One source believes there’s more to the story and considers the LF to be more than just an umbrella, claiming: “it seems to be an IBM proxy.

“Type “system” or “method” in the patent commons search, it is all IBM patents,” says our source.

The same goes for OIN, which is said to also include companies like Red Hat, Google, and Oracle.

Claiming that IBM is everywhere, says our source, “None of them [patents] are really from another company [...] and it is too American”

“The Linux Foundation and OIN bear a certain resemblance.”The Linux Foundation and OIN bear a certain resemblance. Intel is right there in the LF though, so IBM is far from the only titan involved. They have a patent FAQ at OIN, but the action they take against the problem is one that we criticised before. I asked Bob Sutor about patents and IBM, but he didn’t even approve my comment, let alone answer the question contained in it. Why is IBM escaping these questions?

Regarding OIN, it’s seems like an IBM thing (Jerry Rosenthal is a former IBMers). One might even argue that OIN is to IBM what Intellectual Ventures is to Microsoft. Novell's CEO and CTO are also former IBMers and IBM approved the patent deal which Novell signed with Microsoft. Marbux and/or Gary Edwards used to suspect this was a form of collusion.

At some stage, we wish to do some more research and find out where OIN’s current CEO is from. If we could finally explain the relationship between OIN and LF, that would be helpful too. It turns out that OIN has some patents in the LF patent commons. There is a patent commons database in the Linux Foundation. Why this intersection and why so much IBM everywhere?

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

A Single Comment

  1. AlexH said,

    October 3, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Gravatar

    IBM are huge, it’s not a surprise that they have connections to a lot of IT businesses. Even Microsoft is full of ex-IBM people (e.g., Phelps).

    I doubt they will get their way in Europe; that tide has turned for now. I’d be more worried about multinational treaties personally.

What Else is New


  1. Links 31/7/2014: Zorin OS Educational 9, Android Nearing 90% Share

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft-Linked Codenomicon and Bluebox in the Business of Smearing FOSS/Linux/Android

    odenomicon and Bluebox, two companies with strong Microsoft links, fill the media with negative articles about Android



  3. Is Microsoft Being Raided Not Just for Anti-Competitive Reasons but for Bribes and Back Doors?

    News about raids in Microsoft China mostly lacking when it comes to background, context, and information about Microsoft's crimes in China



  4. Former Microsoft Engineer Working on Windows BitLocker Confirms Government Asks Microsoft for Back Doors

    Recalling the times when even Microsoft staff spoke about secret government collaborations and back doors



  5. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  6. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  7. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  8. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  9. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  11. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  12. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  13. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  14. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?

    Renewed activity in FOSS-leaning legal site Groklaw amid numerous victories for FOSS



  15. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  16. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  18. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  19. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  20. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  21. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  22. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  23. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  24. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  25. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  26. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  27. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  28. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  30. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert


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