IBM exec: U.S. could learn from EU, China on intellectual property
Says U.S. is too lax in approving patents
IDG News Service - SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. should look to regions like China and the European Union for ways to improve intellectual property (IP) policy or it runs the risk of driving business out of the country, an IBM executive said yesterday at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco.
Describing the U.S. patent policy as "lousy," Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM's vice president of technology and strategy, said the U.S. Patent Office has been simply too lax in granting patents. "Any idiot can get a patent for something that should never be granted a patent," he said in a keynote address.
Citing the EU and China as two regions where patents are given more scrutiny than in the U.S., Wladawsky-Berger said, "Maybe the U.S. has a thing or two to learn from how those governments are treating IP to enable innovation."
Frivolous patent lawsuits could ultimately prove to be such an impediment to business that they could drive companies out of the U.S., Wladawsky-Berger said in an interview after his keynote address.
He stopped short of calling for a complete overhaul of the U.S. patent and copyright systems. "We just need to improve the patent law to make it more strict," he said.
IBM is one of the largest patent holders in the U.S. The company has been the largest recipient of U.S. patents for the past 12 years, according to a report published by IFI Claims Patent Services in Wilmington, Del. IBM was awarded 3,277 patents last year, according to the research.
The company has a history of using its vast patent portfolio to defend itself in litigation. In the past few years, it has included patent claims in countersuits against The SCO Group Inc. and Compuware Corp.
But recently, IBM has loosened its grip on its patent portfolio. In January, the company made 500 of its software patents available to open-source developers. The giveaway covered such areas as technology to help microprocessors access memory and handwriting recognition.
The changes at IBM reflect a new, less proprietary approach to working with open-source communities -- something that is now becoming standard in the high-tech business, Wladawsky-Berger said.
Open-source is "changing the culture of every single business, or at least every business that wants to make sure they are still a business 10 years from now," he said. "If you really want to tap into the communities out there, you need to balance your proprietary approach to IP ... with a much more collaborative approach."
- Big Data, Big Mess: Sound Risk Intelligence Through Complete Context This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Using Cyber Insurance and Cybercrime Data to Limit Your Business Risk This paper examines the challenges of understanding cyber risks, the importance of having the right cyber risk intelligence, and how to use this...
- 5 Tips to Secure Small Business Backdoors in the Enterprise Supply Chain This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Confront consumerization with convergence Virtualization expert Elias Khnaser spotlights the security, compliance, and governance issues that arise when enterprise users "consumerize" with shadow IT and public cloud...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts