Lobbying for software patents
The following are examples of IBM's pro-software-patent lobbying during consultations from patent offices, governments, and courts.
IBM were constantly in the European Parliament lobbying for software patents. (Can you help? Need to develop this and add refs; shouldn't be hard)
Bilski at the CAFC, 2008, USA
EPO consultation, 2009, Europe
Bilski at the Supreme Court, 2009, USA
Lobbying against software patents in 1972
Timothy B. Lee points out that IBM's amicus brief to the US Supreme Court for the Gottschalk v. Benson case argued that software patents would "have the inevitable effect [of] stifling developments in computer programming".
- (See also: Changes in company policy over time)
- August 2004: IBM pledges not to use its patents against the kernel Linux
- January 2005: Pledge of 500 patents to free software community
IBM's pledge has been received positively by the free software community, with Richard Stallman saying "These are but a fraction of IBM's software patents, but still it was a substantial step". It was however noted that the timing of this gesture seems to be part of a PR stunt to appease the free software community during the massive campaigning against the EU software patents directive.
- (See: IBM and TurboHercules, 2010)
In April 2010, IBM sent a seemingly threatening list of patents to the free software project TurboHercules. However, there was no explicit threat, and no suits were filed. This raised the question of whether IBM broke its 2005 patent promise.
Selection of patents held
- Real-Time Validation of Text Input Fields Using Regular Expression Evaluation During Text Entry, Slashdot story, 2009
- Fritz Teufel, patent department head of IBM in Germany and Europe
Related pages on en.swpat.org
- Open Invention Network - of which IBM is a member
- Fake representatives of free software#IBM
- Changes in company policy over time
- "Nokia's patent announcement next to nothing". http://www.linux.com/archive/feed/45271. "Last year IBM took a significant step forward in cooperation with the free software community, by offering blanket licenses for 500 of its patents to all free software developers. These are but a fraction of IBM's software patents, but still it was a substantial step."
- "IBM accused of hypocrisy over patent collaboration". http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/regulation/2005/01/11/ibm-accused-of-hypocrisy-over-patent-collaboration-39183607/. ""IBM is just being hypocritical because they want to appease the open source community and make themselves popular," said Mueller. "In Europe, IBM is a driving force behind the extension of the scope of patentability with respect to software."
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