IBM developer speaks on software patents


Author: JT Smith

Hans Schou writes, “At the Linux Forum 2002 Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer from IBM in Böblingen,
Germany, gave an interview to Ole Tange, SSLUG, on how IBM deals with
software patents when IBM is developing Linux.

In the Open Source community Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer is probably best
known as the man who was responsible for the S/390 patch for the Linux

Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer said:

  • IBM does not ship Open Source software with patents.
  • IBM only submits patches to the Linux kernel after they are cleared for
    any patents.
  • IBM does not do distributions because the risk of infringing a patent
    that way is too high.
  • IBM does not use Linux in embedded systems because the kernel could
    contain hidden patents.

The interview was published with live streaming on Internet and can be
found in the archive on The interview is 11 minutes
long. Ogg-file and video with the interview can be found at