This just in: IBM has caved.
(For some background, see my initial post: IBM Tries to Patent Offshoring.)
Bob Sutor, IBM’s vice president of open source and standards, is helping to spread the word for his colleagues in the presumably overworked intellectual property division:
“IBM has put into the public domain and withdrawn its application for patent number US2007/0162321 – Outsourcing of Services. This patent application covers analyzing work flows, skills, economic costs, etc. Here’s why we are withdrawing it — IBM adopted a new policy a year ago to sharply reduce business method patent filings and instead stress significant technical content in its patents. Even though the patent application in question was filed eight months before the policy took effect in September, 2006, had the policy been in place at the time, IBM would not have filed the application. We’re glad the community pointed this application out so IBM could take swift action.”
Now, how about that patent on benchmarking?