News: Bob Sutor comments on the release of IBM patents to Open Source
Bob Sutor is the VP of IBM Standards. He has come out commenting on the recent release of IBM patents to open source: "To be clear, this is not a "donation," but rather a pledge of the patents to seed and then maintain a patent commons for open source projects."
- Posted by: Frank Charles
- Posted on: January 13 2005 15:00 EST
Go here to see his other comments and his extensive list of links to articles on the subject from all the major developer and business publications.
There is also a link to the Patent Description Document, which provides the nitty-gritty of the patent release and a link to all the software patents being released at this time.
In the list of patents, under the heading Compression, Encryption and Access Control is:
US6209575 Tamper proof set screw
Randy Schnier (IBM)
The most significant effect in the long run is probably that a company suing an open source software will enable IBM to sue them. So less company will sue open source software.
An extract from:
IBM Statement of Non-Assertion of Named Patents Against OSS: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/licensing/patents/pledgedpatents.pdf
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
In the list of patents, under the heading Compression, Encryption and Access Control is:US6209575 Tamper proof set screwRandy Schnier (IBM)
A tamper proof screw is very useful for dongles that are used for access control.
Since one of the key arguments that Microsoft makes against open source is security (FUD really), anything that can help with security can be welcomed - even if its not strictly a software patent.
I've seen a number of examples (in banking) where various types of dongles are used.