Subject: Oracle's opposition to software patents
From: "Michael A. Olson" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 09:24:12 -0700

Apropos the long-running discussion here, I thought people would
be interested in a Slashdot article on software patents.  The story
is that while Oracle Corp. opposes software patents, it's forced to
acquire them as a defensive measure.

We've hashed this out here at length; software patents in particular
serve as bargaining chips.  The original purpose for patents, to
encourage the publication and use of innovative ideas, doesn't really
hold (at least in practice) in the software world.

Oracle's position -- which appears credible to me -- is that they're
at a tactical disadvantage versus (for example) IBM, which patents
aggressively.  Unless Oracle acquires patents, IBM will be able to
lock the company out of its core business.

The Slashdot writeup is at

Oracle's statement on the topic is at