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

10.30.08

Failing SCO, Microsoft Eyes EU and Software Patents

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SCO at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Languishing case dragged on for half a decade

“[Emerson, Microsoft senior vice president for strategy] stated that Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb (of BayStar)

Readers might be wondering what all those SCO-related quotes are about. We’ve posted many of them so far today in order to symbolise and draw attention to the Halloween Documents, which intersect with today’s special day. As stated in Wikipedia, there was an “e-mail from consultant Mike Anderer to SCO’s Chris Sontag revealing Microsoft’s channeling of US$ 86 million to SCO.”

“It’s worth remembering that Novell approached Microsoft for this deal, not the other way around.”Failing copyrights libel, as implicitly suggested inside the Halloween Documents, Microsoft has already resorted to unbacked patents libel. It’s the next logical step and a last option too. That resistance phase was ignited a year and a half ago and it was empowered by the patent deal Microsoft had signed with Novell. It’s worth remembering that Novell approached Microsoft for this deal, not the other way around.

Software patents are ‘softer’ than copyrights and their legitimacy is constantly being questioned; their very existence is challenged. Software patents are still illegal in the large majority of the world, so Microsoft has reasons for concern about its unfounded claims and threats. After all, SCO was fined in Germany for such slander. Can Microsoft too be fined? Either way, there is an endless pursuit for software patents in Europe, courtesy of Microsoft, a few other companies, and the pressure groups they employ [1, 2].

In reality, owing to existing confusion and lack of clarify, “they [EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway,” says Microsoft’s Marshall Phelps.

Europe’s assignment of the infamous software patent situation to the enlarged board was mentioned here earlier [1, 2, 3]. The following report from IDG suggests that Pieter Hintjens, former head of FFII welcomes this decision.

In an interview at the beginning of this year, shortly after she took over the top job in Munich, Brimelow said she wasn’t ready to refer the software patents question to the EBoA, perhaps out of respect for her predecessor.

Now that she is ready, the reaction has been positive.

“It will be a landmark case with a sizeable effect on the interpretation of patent law even beyond Europe,” said Thomas Vinje, an intellectual property expert and partner at the law firm Clifford Chance.

Pieter Hintjens, a prominent campaigner against software patents during the political debate in 2005 and founder of software company Imatix, welcomed Brimelow’s decision.

“The (EPO) has resisted doing this for many years. In the past it didn’t want to clamp down on software patent applications for economic reasons: The EPO makes money from patent applications and renewals. Brimelow at last is taking a healthier approach, prioritizing the long-term interests of society ahead of the short-term financial ones,” Hintjens said.

There is some more background reading to this in The Register.

The European Patent Office (EPO) has asked its ultimate legal authority to look at the European Patent Convention (EPC) and issue advice on the patentability of software. The EPO said that such advice was necessary to ensure the uniform application of the EPC.

We have been writing quite extensively about what Symbian (Nokia) has done in the UK. It harmed the country’s treatment of software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; however, according to this, the situation in the UK can be impacted by the conclusions reached in continental Europe.

The thorny issue of software patents in the EU was again in the news last week. Regular readers will recall the ongoing row between the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) and the courts over the former’s application of both UK and EU case law on the extent to which computer software can be patented. The most recent round a couple of weeks back saw the Court of Appeal find the UK IPO was wrong to deny a patent to Symbian’s PC performance enhancing software. Now the European Patent Office (EPO) has sought clarification by way of a reference to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (which hears appeals against EPO decisions) seeking to clear up some of the finer points of the application of European patent law. Those clever kitties at the IP Kat reckon the referral should end some of the uncertainty over computer software at the EPO level and (indirectly) aid the UK IPO as well. Let’s hope so.

These are interesting times and an important test for the European patent system. Brimelow does not want another riot.

Software patents protest against EPO

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. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  2. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  3. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  4. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  5. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  6. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  7. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  8. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  9. Links 4/2/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Ubuntu Tablet

    Links for the day



  10. The Siege Continues: Patent Lawyers Want More Patents, Including Software Patents, In Spite of Alice

    Lawyers who make money from patent disputes make rather apparent their aspirations, which include patent saturation even in domains that are patents-exempt



  11. European Patent Office Pretends It's Business as Usual and Prepares New Vanity Pieces

    The PR strategy of the EPO, whose destructive patent strategy continues unabated (for now), latches onto Colombia and strives to manufacture mythology wherein the public, patent examiners and patent applicants are all very happy with the EPO



  12. The 'International' Trade Commission Imposes/Reinforces Software Patents to Establish Another Embargo

    The International [sic] Trade Commission is meddling in competition and allowing a US giant, Cisco in this case, to potentially block rivals (no imports from abroad) using software patents



  13. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part I)

    The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO's violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO



  14. Benoît Battistelli's EPO: From Show Trials and Mock Trials to a Self-Aggrandising Propaganda Event Later Today in Rijswijk

    A headsup from a reader regarding today's highly misleading event in Rijswijk (e.g. to mislead the media or seed positive media coverage in the Netherlands) and how it was set up



  15. Caricature of the Day: EPO President

    New caricature about Benoît Battistelli, his bodyguards, and the assault on free speech at the European Patent Office



  16. Company Known as European Patent Office Provides Tips on How to Patent Software in Europe

    The European Patent Office (EPO) uses its attendance at CeBIT, which is a corporate expo, to promote software patents in spite of the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  17. Links 3/2/2016: Dell GNU/Linux Laptop, Wine 1.8.1

    Links for the day



  18. The Most Detailed Explanation (Yet) of What's Wrong With the EPO

    The EPO's insistence that it remains above the law is not only coming under fire by the media but is also being challenged based on people who are familiar with the applicability of law to international organisations



  19. Angry Trolls: Rovi (of Angry Birds Fame) Helps Microsoft's Largest Anti-Linux Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures (Corrected)

    nce known as a game maker and later made notorious for mass surveillance on gamers, Rovi now liaises with the world's largest patent troll



  20. Patent Invalidation Statistics and Cost of Patent Litigation (Even If Bogus) Show That Patent Scope and Examination Standards a Problem in Europe, Not Just the US

    Far too many bogus patents (patents that should not be granted in the first place) and spurious patent lawsuits that end up in favour of the defendant serve to show the external cost (or externality) when it comes to low-quality patent systems that strive to grant a lot of patents irrespective of merit



  21. Es Oficial: Por Medio de Entrismo, Microsoft Ha Convertido a la Pro-Linux Nokia en un Parásito de Patentes Anti-Linux

    Microsoft ha convertido a Nokia en un troll de patentes que ahora ataca a Linux y Android.



  22. Richard Stallman: Patentes Europeas de Software Regresan con la Corte Unitaria de Patentes (UPC)

    Debates acerca de la UPC estan siendo peleados por profesionales de software (entidades prácticantes) y elementos PARÁSITICOS como los abogados de patentes.



  23. SUEPO (EPO Staff Union) Appears to Have Launched a New and Improved Web Site After Attempts to Crush ('Decapitate') SUEPO

    SUEPO, the largest staff union of the European Patent Office, shows signs of strength rather than signs of weakness amidst attacks on the staff and a lot of media coverage, political interventions, and much more



  24. Links 2/2/2016: Chimpbox Quad Core, UNICEF Supports FOSS

    Links for the day



  25. Münchner Merkur Explains That EPO Staff is Defecting to SUEPO, Even The Council Distrusts Battistelli Now

    Press report from Munich, highlighting the crisis of leadership at the EPO, where the President is increasingly viewed as a villain



  26. Microsoft's Policies Alienate Even Microsoft's Biggest Fans, Including Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    Microsoft's aggressive behaviour and low-quality products leave even some of its last remaining 'fans' disheartened and upset



  27. Slides of New Talk Which Explains the Connection Between the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Software Patents

    Benjamin Henrion's Sunday talk about European software patents -- a presentation which speaks of the Unitary Patent Court that the EPO lobbies for and what it means to software patents



  28. UEFI is Bricking PCs, Yet Again

    A few remarks about a new defect which is starting to attract media attention this morning, serving to highlight the lesser-discussed dangers of UEFI/EFI



  29. Under Battistelli's Regime the European Patent Office is Rapidly Rotting

    Technical problems, patent maximalism (in a desperate effort to artificially elevate patent-related figures) and other serious issues observed inside the European Patent Office (EPO)



  30. It's Official: By Means of Entryism, Microsoft Has Turned a Pro-Linux Nokia Into an Anti-Linux Patent Parasite

    Microsoft has made a sort of patent troll out of Nokia and Nokia now attacks Linux and Android


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