Is Big Blue Co-Opting Innovation?
It was reported in early 2011 that an application has been published for an IBM patent that apparently attempts to secure rights on the patent process.
Aside from the audacity of such a broad patent, what I find interesting is the timing of the publication. Was the application filed in late June of 2009 (June 24 to be precise) so it would publish 18 months later, post-Christmas 2010, when business news and browsing are way down?
Click here for the published application, Intellectual Property Component Business Model for Client Services.
If IBM’s process patent issues, it will have symbolic if not literal value for a while. That it should issue at all is another matter. Can the company be faulted for trying?
Below is a reply from an IBM employee to Gruener’s post:
Wolfgang, I work for IBM and I’m glad you see some ingenious ideas in this patent application. We have thousands of inventors who file for and receive patents every year, backed by a $6 billion investment in R&D. Of course, you can’t receive a patent on filing for a patent because there’s obviously nothing new or novel about that. What this application is for is an IP management system, and how a company goes about making strategic decisions that may or may not lead to an application for a patent being filed, as well as for managing an IP portfolio. We’ve had many clients ask us for this kind of service, and since IBM actually practices its inventions, it is only natural that we’d file for patent protection so no one can prevent us from serving our clients.
Illustration source: kara.allthingsd.com