We had earlier covered the news of TurboHercules filing antitrust charges against IBM. That incident was in response to IBM when it laid charges against TurboHercules. IBM says, TurboHercules violates 173 of IBM’s patents.
Now, IBM has clearly denied those charges. This attitude of IBM has upset the whole of the Open-Source community. Back in 2005, IBM assured them with promises of not using its patents to trouble Open-Source. But now, it is acting otherwise.
In a letter dated 11th March, 2010, IBM’s Mark Anzani, vice president and CTO for System z technology wrote,
Your suggestion that TurboHercules was unaware that IBM has intellectual property rights in this area is surprising. Your product emulates significant portions of IBM’s proprietary instruction set architecture and IBM has many patents that would, therefore, be infringed.
According to this statement, TurboHercules which is a ten year old company is stealing. That is partly outrageous on part of IBM but it can be justified to some extent.
Firstly, IBM has made wide monetary contributions to the growth and promotion of Open-Source and expects at least some trust from the community.
Secondly, the multiple statements released by IBM are contradictory and are prone to critical attack. Though, this does not definitely make them guilty.
Another statement from IBM makes them look like the good guys when they say,
Since TurboHercules is a member of organizations founded and funded by IBM competitors such as Microsoft to attack the mainframe, we have doubts about TurboHercules’ motivations and qualifications, and we will be interested to learn if that company will comply with the rules of the Open Source community.
However, IBM is acting in its own interest largely and this action is a clear attempt to save all the investment it had made into the mainframe business. Though, IBM surely does not get to call who is not fit to be a part of the Open-Source world.