Tuesday, November 21, 2006

COMMWEB on IBM patent policy

Further to IBM's patent policy of apparent schizophrenia, COMMWEB wrote on October 30, 2006:

IBM's strategy is to be an IP benefactor to the tech industry when it's in IBM's interest, while staunchly defending its IP rights at other times. That's hardly reassuring to entrepreneurs and startups that risk a run-in with IBM as they develop new products. IBM holds about 40,000 patents worldwide for everything from how to display ads online to the creation of an Internet checkout system. IBM patents cover "most of, if not all, e-commerce," senior VP John Kelly told The Wall Street Journal last week.


Not everyone buys the patent-reform agenda of the big tech companies. Hans Hxu, founder of online gift registry Felicite.com, says the industry's large players are more interested in the appearance of IP openness than in practicing what they preach. "IBM patents almost everything they do, then they sit on it. That doesn't do much to encourage innovation," says Hxu, a McKinsey consultant before launching Felicite.


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