EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.10.08

Microsoft Still Insists Free Software Tax in Europe

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, RAND, Red Hat, Samba at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Turn competitor into own cash cow, make it more expensive and thus less desirable

We haven’t sufficient time to write about this in great depth at the moment, but there are various developments in Europe which readers ought to know about. These affect handling of software patents, Free software, and open standards.

Over in the IRC channel, we were told a little while earlier: “ECIS confirmed this morning that Microsoft appeals to the ECJ on patents. this is big news because all the press says they appeal on the “fine”, but in fact they just want certainty to tax Samba and Redhat.” This information is based on private talks with ECIS.

Further to this, consider the fact that the Commission is testing a migration to GNU/Linux and has an embargo proposal on its desk. As it turns out, based on a press release, it spends far too much money on software from the very same company it endlessly reprimands.

Microsoft sucks 8,136,000 EUR each year out of the European Commission

Commission pays Microsoft each year 226EUR for its office infrastructure. Commission has approx 36,000 users. Make the math. Commission makes also “open” tenders which prefers Microsoft products.

In the news you are also likely to find some coverage of the talk from Neelie Kroes. The New York Times, which is biased, picks a rather strong headline: E.U. Snubs Microsoft on Office Systems

Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the past four years, accusing the U.S. software giant of defying her orders and fining the company nearly $2.68 billion for violating European competition rules. But the speech was her strongest recommendation yet to jettison Microsoft products, which are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run computers.

“I know a smart business decision when I see one — choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed,” Ms. Kroes told a conference in Brussels. “No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one.”

You can find the speech here and you can also find a less critical (or moderate) article here.

The EU’s top antitrust official on Tuesday called for governments to favor open-source software for their own use, taking aim at Microsoft Corp. for ‘locking in’ customers to their proprietary technology.

In other news from Europe, recall the Nokia-Ogg disaster and watch the following curious new appointment.

EICTA, the industry body representing the information and communications technology and consumer electronics industries in the European Union announces that Erkki Ormala has been elected as President and Chairman of the Executive Board. Dr. Ormala is Vice President, Technology and Trade Policy of Nokia Corporation where his responsibilities cover political, regulatory, economic, market access and other business environment related issues. The main Eicta policy issues are in his area of responsibility at Nokia. He takes over from Rudy Provoost, who led the organization for the past four years.

Another change in the European patent system was published or at least highlighted by Digital Majority yesterday.

The council of ministers in Belgium has decided last 23rd of May to proceed with the ratification of the London Agreement, in order to scrap the requirement for translations of patents granted in Belgium in Flemish.

In other patent news, you may find of interest the following end of a patent dispute between Acer and H-P.

A patent war erupted between the two companies last year after HP filed patent suits against Acer accusing the Taiwanese PC vendor of infringing on at least 10 HP patents and sought to block Acer PC imports to the U.S.

Also of interest is this case of patent royalty madness.

The justices unanimously said LG could not enforce its memory-technology patents against both Intel and the computer makers that install Intel’s chips in their machines. The judges said LG’s power to extract royalties was “exhausted” by its licensing agreement with Intel, of the United States.

It was covered here as well. [via Groklaw]

Justice Thomas delivered the Supreme Court’s 19–page unanimous decision that provides some new life to the doctrine of patent exhaustion. The opinion reverses the Federal Circuit and holds that under the exhaustion doctrine applies to the authorized sale of components that “substantially embody” a process patent. Here, Intel’s authorized sale of chip components to Quanta exhausted LGE’s patent rights.

Lastly, there’s the WiMAX patent pool, which made a lot of headlines. What would be the impact on Free software?

Six big technology companies are spearheading a plan to jointly license patents that cover the wireless technology called WiMAX hoping to limit royalty rates that could deter customers from using it.

The participants are Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., Sprint Nextel Corp., Alcatel-Lucent and Clearwire Corp., according to people familiar with the situation and a document outlining the group’s plans.

They have scheduled a conference call Monday to announce an organization, the Open Patent Alliance, to gather rights to WiMAX-related patents and license them to makers of computers, networking devices and other products, these people said.

Software patents may not be going away so fast. It is very important to ensure that they stay (or get eliminated) in the very few places where these are seen as valid at the moment.

Software patent on rise

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/5/2018: RIP Robin “Roblimo” Miller, Qt 5.11 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Walmart, Bank of America, Allied Security Trust (AST) and the Rush for 'Blockchain' Patents

    The hoarding of patents on novel-sounding code has reached ridiculous levels; very large corporations and even patent trolls arm themselves with such patents, hoping to make returns by means of litigation or an 'arms trade'



  3. Stupid Blogs, Stupid Lawsuits, and Stupid Patents

    The stupidity of the patent microcosm, which would like to see everything in the world patented and which would gleefully smear or even sue its critics (the EFF was sued several times for libel over its "Stupid Patent of the Month" series)



  4. Perpetuating the Big Lie That Unitary Patent (UPC) is About to Kick Off

    The (in)famous old lie about UPC being "just around the corner" is still being circulated, mainly if not only by patent law firms which stand to benefit from a litigation Armageddon in Europe



  5. EPO Validation in Former French Colonies That Have Zero European Patents

    The strategy of the EPO seems to be centered around the interests of Benoît Battistelli and his political career rather than that of the EPO; validation deals and dubious 'Inventor Awards' seem to be part of this pattern



  6. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": The Cautionary Tale of SIDRU and Its “Toxic Loans”

    The town where the EPO‘s President (Battistelli) is a deputy mayor has a track record of financial hardship and alleged financial misconduct, attributed to the same financial practices Battistelli has just implemented at the EPO



  7. Links 23/5/2018: DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 and Kata Containers 1.0 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Masking Abstract Patents in the Age of Alice/§ 101 in the United States

    There are new examples and ample evidence of § 101-dodging strategies; the highest US court, however, wishes to limit patent scope and revert back to an era of patent sanity (as opposed to patent maximalism)



  9. PTAB's Latest Applications of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and Obviousness Tests to Void U.S. Patents

    Validity checks at PTAB continue to strike out patents, much to the fear of people who have made a living from patenting and lawsuits alone



  10. France is Irrelevant to Whether or Not UPC Ever Becomes a Reality, Moving/Outsourcing de Facto Patent Examination to European Courts Managed in/Presided by France

    Team UPC is still focusing on France as if it's up for France to decide the fate of the UPC, which EPO insiders say Battistelli wants to be the chief of (the chief, it has already been decided, would have to be a Frenchman)



  11. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": The Emperor’s New Investment Guidelines

    Details about a secret vote to 'gamble' the EPO's budget on "a diversified portfolio managed by external experts"



  12. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": Cautionary Tale for the EPO?

    Preface or background to a series of posts about Battistelli's French politics and why they can if not should alarm EPO workers



  13. Links 22/5/2018: Parrot 4.0, Spectre Number 4

    Links for the day



  14. Chamber of Commerce Lies About the United States Like It Lies About Other Countries for the Sole Purpose of Patent Maximalism

    When pressure groups that claim to be "US" actively bash and lie about the US one has to question their motivation; in the case of the Chamber of Commerce, it's just trying to perturb the law for the worse



  15. Links 21/5/2018: Linux 4.17 RC6, GIMP 2.10.2

    Links for the day



  16. The Attacks on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Have Lost Momentum and the Patent Microcosm Begrudgingly Gives Up

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), reaffirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and now the Supreme Court as well, carries on preventing frivolous lawsuits; options for stopping PTAB have nearly been exhausted and it shows



  17. Software Patenting and Successful Litigation a Very Difficult Task Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

    Using loads of misleading terms or buzzwords such as "AI" the patent microcosm continues its software patents pursuits; but that's mostly failing, especially when courts come to assess pertinent claims made in the patents



  18. António Campinos Will Push Toward a France-Based Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    Frenchmen at EPO will try hard to bring momentum if not force to the Unified Patent Court; facts, however, aren't on their side (unlike Team UPC, which was always on Team Battistelli's side)



  19. In Apple v Samsung Patents That Should Never Have Been Granted May Result in a Billion Dollars in 'Damages'

    A roundup of news about Apple and its patent cases (especially Apple v Samsung), including Intel's role trying to intervene in Qualcomm v Apple



  20. Links 20/5/2018: KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3, FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  21. Aurélien Pétiaud's ILO Case (EPO Appeal) an Early Sign That ILO Protects Abusers and Power, Not Workers

    A famous EPO ‘disciplinary’ case is recalled; it’s another one of those EPO-leaning rulings from AT-ILO, which not only praises Battistelli amid very serious abuses but also lies on his behalf, leaving workers with no real access to justice but a mere illusion thereof



  22. LOT Network is a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    Another reminder that the "LOT" is a whole lot more than it claims to be and in effect a reinforcer of the status quo



  23. 'Nokification' in Hong Kong and China (PRC)

    Chinese firms that are struggling resort to patent litigation, in effect repeating the same misguided trajectories which became so notorious in Western nations because they act as a form of taxation, discouraging actual innovation



  24. CIPU is Amplifying Misleading Propaganda From the Chamber of Commerce

    Another lobbying event is set up to alarm lawmakers and officials, telling them that the US dropped from first to twelfth using some dodgy yardstick which favours patent extremists



  25. Patent Law Firms That Profit From Software Patent Applications and Lawsuits Still 'Pull a Berkheimer' to Attract Business in Vain

    The Alice-inspired (Supreme Court) 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchanged, but the patent microcosm endlessly mentions a months-old decision from a lower court (than the Supreme Court) to 'sell' the impression that everything is changing and software patents have just found their 'teeth' again



  26. A Year After TC Heartland the Patent Microcosm is Trying to 'Dilute' This Supreme Court's Decision or Work Around It

    IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O want more litigation (especially somewhere like the Eastern District of Texas), so in an effort to twist TC Heartland they latch onto ZTE and BigCommerce cases



  27. Microsoft Attacks the Vulnerable Using Software Patents in Order to Maintain Fear and Give the Perception of Microsoft 'Safety'

    The latest patent lawsuits from Microsoft and its patent trolls (which it financially backs); these are aimed at feeble and vulnerable rivals of Microsoft



  28. Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

    Links for the day



  29. Système Battistelli (ENArque) at the EPO is Inspired by Système Lamy in Saint-Germain-en Laye

    Has the political culture of Battistelli's hometown in France contaminated the governance of the EPO?



  30. In Australia the Productivity Commission Decides/Guides Patent Law

    IP Australia, the patent office of Australia, considers abolishing "innovation patents" but has not done so yet (pending consultation)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts