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IBM stated that SCO uses IBM patents found in their OS's:
1) data compression technique,
2)a method of navigating among program menus using options arranged in a graphical tree,
3)a method for verifying that an electronic message was received and a
4)method for monitoring computing systems linked in a cluster.
These patent claims suprise me,since they are so commemly used (a file browser!). How can IBM make any claims on these patents?
Also would Linux(actually nautilus e.g.), or MS be violating these patents also than?
Last edited by cuboctahedron; 08-07-2003 at 02:44 PM.
IBM have patents on just about everything They only look them up when they are threatened.... Though I'd think that they were a little more butal in protecting them in the past
The patent itself is for a method. not just a coverall for menu tree In order for a patent to be granted, it must be very, very precise. You cant just rock up to the patent office and go, "hey dudes, I made this menu thing and I want a patent so anytime, anyone, anywhere makes a menu they owe me" Well you can, but they will make you wait 5 years and then tell you to get stuffed. You can go to your patent office and go, "I've got this menu thing, and I want to patent the bit of code that makes the menu behave/look exactly like this..."
Well thats a kind crappy example, but I hope you get the general idea
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Personally, I think it's just IBM's way of knocking SCO around a bit. SCO may be able to say that some patents weren't defended, but few judges are going to drop 4+ patents from a company as large as IBM. That, plus the other various cases in europe and elsewhere against SCO is likely to have a choking effect. I think IBM is smart enough to let SCO play itself into an empty corner, then let it slit it's own throat. IBM's been screwed too many times by little putzes like SCO (this is a company with 100 years of legal experience) to risk an all out attack, dominating SCO in all aspects, allowing SCO to play david against goliath with a few judges feeling bad for "poor little SCO".
Remember, despite the fact that this is linux/computer related, IBM gets sued regularly on all aspects of it's business, yet few people ever hear the charges/results. That's because IBM usually does best when it's not a well known public david/goliath case. That may be a lot of the reason that SCO is trying to make this a circus. It simply doesn't bode best for IBM to flex it's legal muscles now. On the other hand, giving SCO a little taste of what's possible might get them to push off, or at least panic them into error. They've made enough already that perhaps IBM is just trying to help them off the edge.