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. EPO Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers



  2. To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

    Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections



  3. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  4. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  5. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  6. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  7. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  8. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  9. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  10. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  11. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  12. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  13. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  14. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  15. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  16. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  17. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  18. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  19. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  20. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  21. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  22. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  23. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  24. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  25. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  26. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  27. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  28. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  30. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers


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