Video Game Law Blog

April 11, 2005

Jim Stallings, vice-president intellectual property and standards, revealed IBM's position on the patent process, particularly that of the United States. Stallings alleges that due to the dramatic increase in the number of filings of patents around the world, examiners' ability to inspect each has been reduced, resulting in a bias toward granting patents and ultimately leading companies to hoard patents or to seek protection for unoriginal works. Stallings also rightly claims that current intellectual property law is not properly constructed to govern the fruits of development communities. Consequently IBM, with its more than 10,000 patent applications in the USA alone, and which was granted 3,248 patents in 2004, is calling for a more stringent patent process.

Patents, of course, are big business in the video game industry.  Recent examples include the award of $90 million against Sony for infringing vibro-tactile patents (see our coverage here ) and Yahoo!'s lawsuit against Xfire regarding online chat applications for games (see our coverage here ).
Coverage of the IBM story at