Feeds

IBM drops attempt to patent outsourcing

Patent stupidity

Build a business case: developing custom apps

IBM has abandoned a ludicrous attempt to patent outsourcing after an internet outcry.

Big Blue submitted this highly original invention to the US Patent office in January 2006. Its principal claim was for "a method for identifying human-resource work content to outsource offshore of an organisation".

The application was noticed at the weekend by Slashdotters, who lambasted the move by the world's most prolific patenter.

IBM's open source and standards veep Bob Sutor posted this sheepish company statement on his blog last night:

Here's why we are withdrawing it - IBM adopted a new policy a year ago to sharply reduce business method patent filings and instead stress significant technical content in its patents.

Even though the patent application in question was filed eight months before the policy took effect in September, 2006, had the policy been in place at the time, IBM would not have filed the application. We're glad the community pointed this application out so IBM could take swift action.

As we've noted recently, the US patent system is subject of a fierce debate as a reform bill wends its way through Congress. The main thrust of the reform is to cut down on frivolous patents. It's backed by big IT lobby group the Business Software Alliance, whose members include, er, IBM.

So fear not, Indian call centre workers, even though having a call centre in India might have been IBM's idea, it's benevolent enough to let you keep putting your electrical engineering PhD to good use. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.