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[Fsfe-uk] Re: swpat

From: Ramanan Selvaratnam
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Re: swpat
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 16:58:24 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624

Alex Hudson wrote:
On Sat, 2003-08-30 at 03:22, Ramanan Selvaratnam wrote:

Ah! Just saw this! I was not aware that IBM struck back with WMD (the article is not clear enought on this)

Reference: <http://comment.zdnet.co.uk/0,39020505,39116012-2,00.htm>

Yup. I also saw somewhere (l'Inq, I think) that because SCO had filed
their copyrights after they filed the litigation, that their damages are
strictly limited to $150,000 or somesuch. If that's the case, they're
going to be paying IBM a large wodge of money in patent fees even if
they are shown to be 100% right. Whoops..

A clear contemporary revelation of the dangers of a software patent regime?

There is a better one than that out there - Microsoft recently had a
decision against them in the Eolas case.

My thinking was that the alleged news that IBM has deployed (?) software patents as a strategic defensive mechanism over an unrelated copyright dispute might throw light on the players and silent victims of the swpat arena.


I felt this critique does not consider the important fallout effect from court battles (as above) between big businesses affecting SMEs.
If it does then it is not clear enough.
Something to teamup with the authors and present more clearly?

Further, have a look at the the citation [23] ...authored by IBM!
'To this end, the Commission jeopardized its reputation for objectivity by awarding a large contract to IBM, a company with a uniquely voluminous portfolio and a famously aggressive licensing program, to make recommendations on how national patent offices should promote patenting.[23]'

[23] <http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/indprop/patent/docs/study-patent-offices_en.pdf>
Bewarned 225 pages of headache!
A quick browse through the 'recommended improovements' features SME without consideration for economic realities as pointed out by the above critique by eminent economists.

Best regards,


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