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

03.20.09

European Patent Office Continues March for Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 8:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EU flag

Summary: The Community patent, which the EPO almost endorses now, is a back door to software patents

THE EPO has been making suspicious moves recently [1, 2]. It is almost opening its doors to software patents without the necessary consultation.

Watch this strategy document [PDF] which states: “The IPR system also needs to be improved by the creation of a Community patent for innovative ICT companies to protect their inventions in the single market (14).” Benjamin from Digital Majority found it and he also spotted this from the EPO’s Web site:

The EPO also welcomes the emphasis the report places on the need for the creation of a Community patent, and a centralised, specialised European patent judiciary.

This is cause for pause concern. The StopSoftwarePatents Web site has issued this warning which heralds: “Commission says the Community Patent is all about Software Patents.”

The European Commission has issued a communication asking for the creation of the Community Patent in order for “ICT companies to protect their inventions in the single market”. Large companies were rejecting the software patent directive, aiming to validate software patents via the Community Patent and skip the debate about patentable subject matter.

This comes after heavy lobbying from Microsoft-hired lobbyists and 'innovation' parties that are quite openly about lobbying politicians. This is a serious problem that TechDirt wrote about a couple of days ago. It stated:

Since When Did We Give Lobbyists From The Tech, Entertainment And Pharma Industries Security Clearance?

With the new administration sticking by the old one in declaring negotiations over the ACTA treaty somehow a matter of national security as a way of avoiding revealing any info about the proposed treaty or its ongoing negotiations, the folks over at KEI have pointed out the long list of corporate lobbyists who have been involved in the negotiations, including those from the RIAA, MPAA, ESA and a long list of tech, telco and pharma companies.

The EPO is already attempting to cover its back. As IDG points out, the latest tune from the EPO is that the number of granted patents declined last year and therefore — hopes the EPO — people might believe that quality of patents has improved.

The European Patent Office rejected more patent applications than it passed for the first time last year, in an effort to raise the quality bar in the European Union.

The number of applicants was larger than in 2007, the EPO said in a statement.

This number means absolutely nothing if abstract ideas pertaining to software become patentable. They rely on the wrong yardstick amid tough economic times in order to defend their practices. Patenting is just not a priority for many companies right now; litigation, on the other hand, might be.

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

2 Comments

  1. André said,

    March 20, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Gravatar

    Let me clarify:

    * The EPO is not part of the EU framework and thus has limited interest in the EU community patent or any initiative as part of the EU framework unless the Commission and Council bow down to the EPO leadership and won’t strengthen the role of national patent offices.

    * “opening its doors to software patents without the necessary consultation.” –> They have a process for the Brimelow referral G03/08. However, this is not “political”.

    * Microsoft is not lobbying much on that. If they do, then because they reflect public preconceptions about what Microsoft is supposed to want here.

    * As of the Commission Communication document consider what department it comes from and what the main objective of the report is: “A Strategy for ICT R&D and Innovation in Europe: Raising the Game”. You will hardly find a EU innovation policy document that does not mention patents one way or the other and it is pretty low level. Also for the Czech presidency the project is almost faded out. What it is indeed about is ICT keynesianism and observers are right when they find key industry lobby messages reflected.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 20, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Gravatar

    Glyn adds: “EPO allowance rate falls beneath 50% for the first time… harder to get patents in Europe…but not hard enough.”

What Else is New


  1. The Internet Archive Doesn't Forget, Whereas the Internet and the Web Forget Very Fast

    World Wide Web history is grossly undervalued and preservation of such history (e.g. by the Wayback Machine) is taken for granted by far too many people; the robber barons of today benefit the most from erosion of collective memory as they get to rewrite the past to suit their present and future interests



  2. Environmentalism and Free Software Can be Viewed as Closely Connected and Help One Another

    Modest lifestyles are an overlapping pattern in the Free software community and green activists; there's room for alliances and collaboration, bettering society by reducing consumption and discouraging voyeurism



  3. Free (as in Freedom) Software + Social Control Media ≠ Free Speech

    Speaking through middlemen and private platforms is bad enough (that gives others unjust power over speech); to claim that because the underlying platform is free/libre software it therefore becomes a non-issue is also dishonest



  4. António Campinos: President or Quasi-Autocratic Corporate Puppet?

    The culture of oppression — and censorship of evidence of oppression — is what today’s EPO is all about; the EPO learned how to better avoid (or block) negative publicity without actually changing its ways; and due to unprecedented speech restrictions you won’t hear that from SUEPO



  5. The Media Continues to Ignore Corruption of António Campinos

    António Campinos has Croatian scandals on his lap; the obedient media, however, refuses to even talk about it (or uses COVID as an excuse to write nothing on the subject, as some journalists have told us)



  6. A Call for Patent Sanity

    The public's call for reform is motivated by improved understanding of today's debased patent system and how out-of-order (detached from its original mission statement) it has gotten; patent maximalism, if it does not completely unravel this whole system, severely discredits it



  7. Declassified US Army Field Manuals Explain Microsoft's Public Relations Strategy (Similar to Selling Imperialism to the Occupied)

    The misuse of public broadcast to brainwash the public is well understood and thoroughly exploited by both Microsoft and the Gates Foundation (which sells this ridiculous lie that the world’s richest people speak for and fight for the poorest, i.e. those impoverished by endless greed)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, July 10, 2020



  9. Links 11/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Openbox, Kiwi TCMS 8.5, Librem 5 Dogwood Update 3

    Links for the day



  10. Education Without Free Software is Training or Indoctrination

    Kids need to decide for themselves what they want to do and what they wish to use when they grow up; schools need to provide general tools and the mental capacity to make good decisions (rather than make these decisions for the kids, sometimes at the behest of foreign monopolists)



  11. Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor 0.4.4.2-alpha

    Links for the day



  12. European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

    Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune



  13. Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News

    Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 09, 2020



  15. Racism in Technology (and Who Typically Lectures Us About the Subject)

    Racism is a real problem; some approaches to tackling racism, however, can also be problematic and those who take the lead 'on behalf' of victims tend to be opportunistic and privileged few (piggybacking others' grievances to further advance their financial agenda)



  16. Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

    Links for the day



  17. [Humour] COVID-19 is Very, Very Afraid of Human Beings Making More Monopolies Instead of Fighting Together

    The European Patent Office (EPO) to the rescue! Fighting a dangerous pandemic one profitable monopoly at a time!



  18. The News is Never 'Slow', It's Just Journalism That's Slowing Down (and Investigative Journalism Coming Under Attack)

    A mix of censorship and subtle mind control contribute to misinformed societies that shape their perception or misunderstanding of the world based on false measures of authority (where money can determine what is true and what is untrue); many topics remain completely untouched, leading to apathy in a vacuum; it's very much applicable to international organisations, which are presumed benign by virtue of being multi-national or supranational



  19. Social Control Media is About Social Control and If It Doesn't Ban You It'll Shut Down Everyone's Account (One Day)

    It’s time to leave the ‘Internet rot’ which is social control media well behind us; blogging and RSS/XML may seem like a thing of the past, but they may as well become the future (again; if we make the correct and informed choices)



  20. Microsoft's Fingers in Every Pie: The Cult Mentality That Society Needs to Become Wary of

    Microsoft and its co-founder (pretending to do his for-profit 'charity' via the Gates Foundation) are trying to control the world; in the process they've moved to control even their most potent competitor, according to Gates himself, which is GNU/Linux



  21. Links 9/7/2020: Google’s Open Usage Commons, GNOME 3.36.4, Neptune 6.5

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 08, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 08, 2020



  23. Links 8/7/2020: SUSE to Acquire Rancher Labs, Btrfs as Default in Fedora, Qt Creator 4.12.4

    Links for the day



  24. Yes, Master

    When the Linux Foundation tells us to tone down our language we ought to remember what kind of hypocritical stance these people have (note: the above have nothing to do with slavery, either)



  25. Fraunhofer is Again Evergreening Software Patents to Maintain Its Codecs Cartel, Forcing Everyone to Pay to View/Stream Multimedia Files

    The roller-coaster of software patents on multimedia isn't stopping; we know the culprits who can be named for perpetuating this injustice



  26. [Humour/Meme] Focusing on the Bombings and Who's Included in the Bombings

    Supremacist agenda disguised as "tolerant and inclusive" is still objectionable supremacist agenda



  27. Manners Are a Good Thing. The Yardstick or the Standard of Manners Changes Over Time.

    Entirely legitimate grievances of African-Americans are being exploited by people who aren’t even African-American (and usually don’t speak for African-Americans) to warp the debate from one about software ethics and technical issues, not to mention war crimes of companies that employ many programmers, to something which is unlikely to really help African-Americans (also, they don't employ any African-Americans)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 07, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 07, 2020



  29. Links 8/7/2020: Huawei’s GNU/Linux PC, Sparky 5.12, and Endless OS 3.8.4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. [Humour] Television Channels That Don't Speak of Real Looting But Participate in Looting

    People may need to look beyond (or outside) the television screen to grasp what's going on


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

Recent Posts