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From "Robert Finneran" <...@digitalskyscrapers.com>
Subject RE: axkit and patents (fwd)
Date Mon, 21 Jan 2002 20:42:45 GMT
FYI:

>From an article in "Think" magazine, #5, 1990.

    "You get value from patents in two ways," says Roger Smith, IBM
    Assistant General Counsel, intellectual property law.  "Through fees,
    and through licensing negotiations that give IBM access to other
    patents.

    "The IBM patent portfolio gains us the freedom to do what we need to
    do through cross-licensing--it gives us access to the inventions of
    others that are the key to rapid innovation.  Access is far more
    valuable to IBM than the fees it receives from its 9,000 active
    patents.  There's no direct calculation of this value, but it's many
    times larger than the fee income, perhaps an order of magnitude
    larger."

This article should dispell the idea that the patent system will
"protect" a small software developer from competition from IBM.  IBM
can always find patents in its collection which the small developer is
infringing, and thus obtain a cross-license.

However, the patent system does cause trouble for the smaller
companies which, like IBM, need access to patented techniques in order
to do useful work in software.  Unlike IBM, the smaller companies do
not have 9,000 patents and cannot usually get a cross-license.  No
matter how hard they try, they cannot amass enough patents to defend
themselves.

How much trouble do patents typically cause?  The value IBM gets from
cross-licensing measures the trouble that the patent system would
cause IBM if IBM could not avoid it.  IBM's estimate is that the
trouble could easily be ten times the good one can expect from one's
own patents--even for a company with 9,000 of them.

For IBM, this trouble is hypothetical--cross-licensing prevents it
from happening.  For ordinary companies which cannot do likewise, the
burden is real.  IBM's estimate suggests that for a typical software
company, patents will do ten times as much harm as good.  Only the
elimination of patents from the software field can enable most
software developers to continue with their work.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Finneran [mailto:rob@digitalskyscrapers.com]
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2002 12:17 PM
To: general@xml.apache.org
Subject: RE: axkit and patents (fwd)


Hello,

I think the tech community needs to take a stand against this kind of
outrageous behavior. I cannot believe that Sun does not understand that this
patent application is just plain wrong. I don't even have to explain why
this is wrong, just read the text of it.

The worse part is that those idiots over in the patent office are likely to
approve the patent. Making patent mistakes helps evolve patent law. The
trouble is, challenging a patent usually costs millions of dollars. It's a
game only rich companies can play.

Someday I hope that software engineers wake up to the threat of their
freedom. Soon the only protection you will have against this sort of abuse
of the free market system is to only work for major corporations who can
afford to play in this arena. They cross-license each other's patents to
create oligopolies that can "legally" restrain free trade. Independent
software companies without vast patent portfolios of their own will not have
anything to trade in settlement negotiations.

Is this simply a paranoid view of our trade? I think not. Look at the
evidence.

Rob


-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Sergeant [mailto:matt@sergeant.org]
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2002 11:50 AM
To: general@xml.apache.org
Subject: axkit and patents (fwd)


Looks like Sun are trying to Patent what AxKit and Cocoon can do. We need
to make sure the patent office knows of the prior art on this. Do we have
people who do that sort of thing?

--
<!-- Matt -->
<:->Get a smart net</:->

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 19:39:30 +0000
From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
To: "axkit-users@axkit.org" <axkit-users@axkit.org>
Subject: axkit and patents

have y'all seen this arrant nonsense from Sun?
http://l2.espacenet.com/dips/viewer?PN=WO0163481&CY=ep&LG=en&DB=EPD
describes a patent application which is a trivial AxKit
operation.....
--
Sebastian Rahtz      OUCS Information Manager
13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431

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