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Re: gpl as applied to ideas

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: gpl as applied to ideas
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2006 12:54:23 +0100

"Alfred M. Szmidt" wrote:
> Ideas are not covered by any law, having them covered would be quite
> bad.

IBM sues maker of Intel-based mainframe clones

Paul McDougall  
(12/05/2006 9:00 AM EST)

In its second major patent enforcement action in as many months, IBM is
quietly suing an Intel-backed maker of computers that uses a version of
IBM's high-end mainframe operating system reconfigured to run atop
Intel's industry standard processors, InformationWeek has learned.

In a lawsuit, IBM alleges that the mainframe "emulator systems" offered
by Platform Solutions Inc. violate IBM patents on its z/OS operating
system as well as patents relating to its previous mainframe operating
system, known as OS/390.

On its Web site, Platform Solutions claims that it offers a "new
generation of compatible mainframe computers designed to meet the
rapidly changing business needs of today's enterprise." The company says
its Intel 64-bit Itanium-based systems are fully compatible with z/OS
and OS/390. IBM typically offers those operating systems for sale only
with IBM mainframes running more expensive dedicated processors of its
own manufacture.

"PSI has developed and is now implementing a business model that seeks
to usurp the value of IBM's investment in mainframe computer systems,"
IBM alleges in the suit, which was filed last week in U.S District Court
in New York. Platform Solutions' emulator translates "IBM's copyrighted
software into a set of instructions that can be executed by a processor
that is not capable of executing the original IBM instructions," IBM

IBM's decision to sue Platform Solutions is another indication that the
company is becoming more aggressive about defending its intellectual
property in an effort to extract more revenue from its extensive patent
trove. In late October, the company sued, claiming that
Amazon's online sales technology violates a number of IBM e-commerce

At the time, David Kappos, IBM's top attorney for intellectual property,
told InformationWeek that the suit didn't mark the beginning of an IBM
campaign to hunt down patent violators, even though the company publicly
announced the decision to sue Amazon through a press release. IBM hasn't
made any public disclosures, other than the court filing, about the
Platform Solutions lawsuit.

In that filing, IBM says it had little choice to sue Platform Solutions
because the vendor's clone systems put IBM's reputation in jeopardy. IBM
claims Platform Solutions' technology won't run its mainframe operating
systems properly, and the result could be customer disappointment that
might wash over to IBM. "IBM has a strong interest in ensuring that z/OS
is not used on computer systems with which z/OS is not fully compatible
or used in ways that have the potential to undermine either the
reputation of z/OS for accuracy, data integrity, and reliability of z/OS
for mission critical applications," IBM says in its lawsuit.

Platform Solutions was founded in 1999 by a team of engineers that
formerly worked at mainframe maker Amdahl. The privately held company
bills itself as "The New Choice In Mainframe Computers" and has received
funding from Goldman Sachs, Fujitsu, and Itanium manufacturer Intel,
among others. In August, Platform Solutions demonstrated its mainframe
clones at a conference in Baltimore held by SHARE, an IBM user group.
IBM says Platform Solutions is making a number of false claims to
potential customers, including that IBM will "license its operating
systems for use on PSI's systems in a 'business as usual' manner."

IBM also claims that Platform Solutions ignored its requests to examine
a clone system and negotiate possible cases of infringement. The
computing giant says Platform Solutions' response was to threaten it
with antitrust litigation. IBM is asking the U.S. District Court to
declare pre-emptively that its mainframe business doesn't violate any
antitrust laws. It's also suing Platform Solutions for breach of

IBM is seeking an injunction that would prevent Platform Solutions from
selling its systems and is asking for unspecified financial damages.
Executives from Platform Solutions weren't immediately available for

Pundits whispered that's only the first step to counter Microsoft's
Linux crunching efforts thru possible lawsuits.


( - Meet the DotCommunist)

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