|By Jeremy Geelan||
|January 11, 2005 12:00 AM EST||
"The landscape just changed....Thank you, IBM. Thank you," writes Groklaw's editor-in-chief Pamela Jones, heralding the announcement yesterday that IBM will today announce that it's making 500 of its software patents freely available to anyone working on open-source projects like Linux.
"The Windows patent strategy is so over," adds PJ. "And the next time Bill Gates tries to call this new kind of software development a kind of modern-day communism, as he did so offensively the other day, people will simply laugh in his face."
The IBM plan, announced late yesterday, is to donate the 500 patents for free use by software developers - a move which Reuters immediately reported as "marking a major shift of intellectual property strategy for the world's top computer maker and a challenge to the high-tech industry."
Jim Stallings, IBM's vice president in charge of intellectual property, said in an interview - Reuters added -that the move was meant to encourage other companies to unlock patent portfolios in order to spur technological innovation.
The news agency drily noted that the donation "coincides with an announcement by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that IBM topped the list of annual patent recipients for the 12th straight year, with 3,248 patents -- or 1,314 more patents than No. 2-ranked Matsushita of Japan, known for its Panasonic brand."
Meantime the Washington Post is reporting his morning that Microsoft "has embarked on a campaign to quickly acquire as many software patents as possible. The effort is being led by Marshall Phelps, who spent more than 20 years at IBM and was the architect of its patent strategy."
Microsoft, the Post notes somewhat understatedly, "has warned customers that open-source software could infringe on Microsoft's patents."
The pledged patents have been posted on IBM's Web site at http://www.ibm.com/ibm/licensing/patents/pledgedpatents.pdf and the company says in its accompanyng statement:
IBM's Legally Binding Commitment Not To Assert the 500 Named Patents Against OSSEarly speculation among the FOSS community includes the thought that this move by IBM might be the start of a 'viral' subversion of the patent system, in just the way that the GPL arguably is for copyright.
The pledge will benefit any Open Source Software. Open Source Software is any computer software program whose source code is published and available for inspection and use by anyone, and is made available under a license agreement that permits recipients to copy, modify and distribute the programs source code without payment of fees or royalties. All licenses certified by opensource.org and listed on their website as of 01/11/2005 are Open Source Software licenses for the purpose of this pledge..
Subject to the exception provided below, and with the intent that developers, users and distributors of Open Source Software rely on our promise, IBM hereby commits not to assert any of the 500 U.S. patents listed above, as well as all counterparts of these patents issued in other countries against the development, use or distribution of Open Source Software.
In order to foster innovation and avoid the possibility that a party will take advantage of this pledge and then assert patents or other intellectual property rights of its own against Open Source Software, thereby limiting the freedom of IBM or any other Open Source Software developer to create innovative software programs, or the freedom of others to distribute and use Open Source Software, the commitment not to assert any of these 500 U.S. patents and all counterparts of these patents issued in other countries is irrevocable except that IBM reserves the right to terminate this patent pledge and commitment only with regard to any party who files a lawsuit asserting patents or other intellectual property rights against Open Source Software
"Imagine a time in a few years, where a lot of companies have done the same thing that IBM does," says for example Andrew Giddings, a UK software developer. "Each of those companies is then committed to the OSS patent pool, and can't threaten any OSS with a lawsuit on any particular patent without losing access to all the rest. And of course, the more companies that join in, the more patents are in the pool, and the more attractive it becomes.'
|Mike 01/17/05 10:12:18 PM EST|
I never really cared much about IP until I started using Linux about 2 years ago and the more I learn the more Pissed I get.
|Michael 01/17/05 08:11:33 PM EST|
Some of them look good to me..
From the Press Release and the list is on the IBM web site.
I think some of the ones they released are so they can build better Open Source Systems using IBM Global Services without getting stuck later.
It is a Leap in the right direction, Also if MS claims any of them and tries to Sue the Open Source Community. Then IBM has a Right to Remove it From the MS Collection (MS has free use of all IBM Patents and IBM has Free Use of MS's). This would break XP instantly if not MS SQL. This new clause makes it harder for MS to stop IBM Selling Open source Boxes, and services.
Patents included in the pledge relate to many aspects of software innovation. Several of the patents cover dynamic linking processes for operating systems. Another is valuable to file-export protocols. The pledged patents cover a wide spectrum, including patents on operating systems, databases, methods for testing programming interfaces, and even cursive text recognition.
|Mike Nelson 01/14/05 02:45:06 AM EST|
IBM has patents dating back to near the beginning of time, does anyone know off hand how old any of these patents are. If all their doing is giving up the rights on things as old as DOS 3.1, of what use is that to the open source community.
|Doubting Thomas? 01/12/05 12:18:43 PM EST|
///The Piltdown hoax inspired David Hannum to declare, "There's a sucker born every minute"... and IBM was listening.///
Ouch! rather harsh, no?
|Daniel Wallace 01/12/05 07:21:55 AM EST|
> The strength of the Open Source licenses has always
The Piltdown man was "discovered" in 1913 and wasn't
The Piltdown hoax inspired David Hannum to declare, "There's a sucker born every minute"... and IBM was listening.
|Aussie John 01/12/05 12:52:21 AM EST|
The strength of the Open Source licenses has always been that they were based on Copyright law and in ten years no one has been able to mount challenge against them.
The patent card was always a worry and it was only a matter of time until Microsoft's stock price drops to the point where Microsoft (themselves or through another proxy like SCO) would have initiated a patent based attack.
IBM have signaled in the past that they would use their patent portfolio to defend their open source interests (principally Linux and the GPL) and this latest very public statement of support for open source in general is very welcome.
Thank you IBM and you are welcome to the profits that result from including open source in your business plan.
|Daniel Wallace 01/11/05 12:19:50 PM EST|
IBM knows full well that you can't implement
Congress reserved the sole right to regulate
IBM just wants cuddly little open-sourcers to
|Per Abrahamsen 01/11/05 11:34:41 AM EST|
This is very good for free sofwtare and it is very good for the economy. I love how IBM apparently both get free software, and is intend of passing this understanding to others. It was seen in the Linux prodigy commercial which in very simple terms explained the power of free software to laymen, and it is seen in this quote from the article:
In recent speeches, for example, Samuel J. Palmisano, I.B.M.'s chief executive, has emphasized the need for more open technology standards and collaboration as a way to stimulate economic growth and job creation.
What I don't see is how it directly help IBM. Of course, economic growth and job creation will indirectly help IBM, as IBM will likely take its fair share of an expanding economy. However, that would put "enligthened self interest" to the extreme, with a bit of hybris in it. Red Hat can calculate that way, better have a smaller part of big Linux market, than dominate a small Linux market. But IBM isn't as dominating in the world economy as Red Hat is in the Linux market.
Of course it is possible that the move is a pure PR stunt, and the patents are worthless anyway. But I'm not that cynical.
|geminidomino 01/11/05 08:27:27 AM EST|
If I were to use some patented algorithm *shudder* in a BSD Licensed program, could someone take that and wrap it up in a closed source program? Or could they just take the non-patented code? Or would it reduce the BSD license to effectively another GPL by forcing the code to stay open?
|femto 01/11/05 07:27:38 AM EST|
Surely this has been in the pipline for a long time? Who is behind it?
Is this something IBM has done of its own accord, or is there an organisation out there (eg. OSDL) driving this? Consequently, is IBM the only company to do this, or are they the first cab off the rank with other companies to follow quickly?
Anyone have some answers?
|Dream Kid3 01/11/05 07:16:34 AM EST|
///Think of how Linux's growth could be helped over the next few years if the overhang of MS lawsuits was removed, and their ability to embrace and extend using patents was curtailed? Maybe I'm dreaming, but its a good dream!///
how right you are - and you gotta have a dream, because if you don't have a dream, then how you gonna have a dream come true
|smart move ibm 01/11/05 06:38:47 AM EST|
IBM is losing nothing here. What they have gained is a great deal of goodwill, and given open-source development a boost. Remember they have a great deal of experience in bulding upon open-source projects, where there competitors generally do not - so anything good for open-source is good for IBM at the moment.
|an00n 01/11/05 04:05:08 AM EST|
What would be really cool is if IBM reworked its cross licensing agreements it has with big companies like Microsoft to say that they can only use IBM's patents if they extend their cross license to allow open source products to be used.
MS is still a relative newcomer to patents, but IBM is an old pro. As there are surely hundreds or thousands of patents IBM owns that are used by Windows, Office, etc. and probably only dozens that IBM software would make use of, IBM has the strong hand and could do this.
Think of how Linux's growth could be helped over the next few years if the overhang of MS lawsuits was removed, and their ability to embrace and extend using patents was curtailed? Maybe I'm dreaming, but its a good dream!
|o'reor 01/11/05 04:03:41 AM EST|
much as I appreciate that decision from IBM, I remain skeptical about the real potential of the licensed patents.
Data compression is one of the areas where pure software patents are commonplace and very annoying, which makes your choices very narrow when it comes to choosing a compression method for your projects.
|bergeron76 01/11/05 03:00:44 AM EST|
This is great. I think IBM should be commended for this (assuming it's for a legit purpose).
This could be a huge "cold-war" style arms/IP race. These days when people vote with their wallets, it's nice to see that viable candidates are emerging...
|Dave Taylor 01/11/05 02:59:39 AM EST|
You bet they know what they're doing, and this should serve as a kick in the pants for Darl McBride at SCO too. Read my thoughts on it: http://www.intuitive.com/blog/archives/000913.html
|Chuck Chunder 01/11/05 02:57:01 AM EST|
It's not anti-free market at all. Patents distort a free market by creating artificial barriers to entry.
Nor are the motives "socialist" or necessarily "magnanimous". IBM's contributions to Linux could hardly be called that because they make them serious money. The revocation clause also buys something serious for IBM. As long as you use Open Source software that employs these IBM patents then you can't sue another Open Source project that IBM may rely on (or created themselves) for using your own patents without risking IBM pulling the rug out from under you.
Releasing these patents (if they are used) buys IBM an additional degree of legal protection/ammunition for the future.
|Mark_MF-WN 01/11/05 02:55:28 AM EST|
IBM is a public company. Anything they do, you can bet it's to increase profits (or drive down competitors' profits). I'll bet there's a really bright plan behind this -- no way it's just a "socialist attitude" or a "magnanimous move". Shareholders wouldn't stand for it.
|tepples 01/11/05 02:52:46 AM EST|
IBM's tactic: Apply for U.S. patents on methods used in software and then license them royalty-free for use in free software.
IBM's possible strategies behind the tactic:
* Encourage development of free software for IBM hardware and service platforms.
|Nice job Stallings 01/11/05 02:33:55 AM EST|
The relative positions of IBM and Microsoft now become increasingly distant. Now we know why Sun cozied up with the latter...it couldn't keep up with the former. Shame on you Sun, you should have collaborated with IBM on Java while you had the chance - this kind of moral high ground would have been yours, with all the business benefits that will undoubtedly accrue. Looks like Sun missed a trick.
|bombshell indeed 01/11/05 02:31:11 AM EST|
Definitely a banner day in the fight against restrictive patents. IBM has done the world a great service here.
|Great move Blue 01/11/05 02:23:00 AM EST|
I wonder how many extra servers IBM just sold to the open source community by making this commitment? You can do good as well as doing well, it seems. Win-win. Yay!
|FOSS boss 01/11/05 02:16:33 AM EST|
So Jim Stallings is now VP i/c intellectual property? He is "Mr Linux" at IBM. This is HUGE. The kernel group will go wild...Linus must be ecstatic.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,241
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 1,396
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 18, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,633
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,818
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:15 AM EST Reads: 2,610
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,879
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,243
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 18, 2014 09:30 AM EST Reads: 2,284
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,998
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 1,060
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 2,048
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 2,100
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 2,069
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,976
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,188
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 2,058
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 2,484
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 8,094
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,253
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,381