April 12, 2010

IBM and TurboHercules: The Patents, the Pledge and the Blogosphere Brawl


No sooner did the Novell v. SCO case draw to a close than another one seems to have come to take its place. This time, of course, IBM is the big name involved, while TurboHercules, a French company that makes a mainframe emulator, plays the little guy. At issue are Hercules, the open source mainframe emulator; 173 IBM patents; IBM's 2005 patent pledge, which apparently covered two of them; and TurboHercules' formal complaint with the European Commission. Plus the question of what a promise means, and whether there should be patents.

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