The IP from Hell is not some URL like 22.214.171.124 but rather Software Patents and the whole swamp that is IP-Intellectual Property rights. IBM just opened up and gave as a pool 500 patents to to the Open Source community. A few weeks later Sun topped that by giving 1600 patents. I cant wait until Microsoft slam dunks everybody and gives Office to Open Source. On second thought …
But take all that benificence with a grain of salt. Sun also payed Kodak $92M in second half 2004 over what many would argue are pretty obscure Java patents. So patents, software patents in particular, are alive and well despite a growing consensus that the USPTO-United States Patent and Trademark Office still makes grave errors on identifying prior practice and is all over the place on what is true innovation. Part of the problem is that Patent Office is taking a patent on patenting – top administrators are heavily into defending every aspect of the patent process with the famous 3 Monkeys approach to innovation and … shhhh speak in whispers … p a t e n t r e f o r m.
Finally with a Republican as president …. scratch the idea of taking a more refined approach to giving someone an arbtrary length monopoly of 17 years on a concept/idea – no questions asked, no holds barred. Now just to put you in the know. IBM has about 40,000 patents. Last year it lead the world in new patents with nearly 2400. Half of all IBMs patents are in software. And Microsoft has hired the IBM VP who set and managed IBMs patent strategy to do the same for them; and so Redmond is determined to gain a leading position in software and computing patents.