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.
  • 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

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. EPO Continues to Grant Hundreds of Thousands of Illegal Software Patents and the Media Doesn't Care

    The only thing worse than the EPO intentionally ignoring courts, Parliament, the EPC and so on is how corporate media and blogs controlled by law firms simply don't care or actively cheer for that



  2. Greenwashing to Distract From the EPO Breaking the Law, Rigging Justice and Its Own Courts

    The so-called 'Haar case' ends as expected; the EPO won't even deal with the question of legality, instead throwing it aside as "inadmissible" while bombarding the media with puff pieces about being "ethical", "social" and now "green"



  3. Linux.com Has Become a Microsoft Promotion Site Under Linux Foundation-Appointed Staff

    The sole editor of Linux.com (after the layoffs of all staff) is a 'true believer' in the 'new' Microsoft and one who uses Linux.com to promote his personal site where he offers PR services



  4. Links 22/7/2019: SUSE Gets CEO From SAP, MuQSS 0.193 Scheduler, VLC Bug

    Links for the day



  5. Links 22/7/2019: Linux 5.3 RC1, GNU Hyperbole 7.0.3, DebConf19

    Links for the day



  6. Don't Kick the Puppy That is Suing Linux Using Patents While Bribing Officials, Threatening Critics and Hijacking the Linux Foundation

    Jim Zemlin is protecting the "puppy" (to use his own analogy), Microsoft, while getting paid about/almost a million dollars per year (about the same amount of money Microsoft pays his PAC)



  7. EPO Gradually Becoming the World's Most Permissive (Low Patent Quality) Patent Office by Consciously Violating the EPC

    Today's European Patent Office is making innovation a lot harder for Europeans; it limits what people can freely do, e.g. what computer code they can implement, and only lawyers are loving it



  8. Tweets Are Not Journalism But Succinct Unverified Hearsay; Time to Treat Them Accordingly

    Childish public discourse can be attributed to SMS-sized nonsense posted in a hurry by career provocateurs, not grown-ups (becoming a waste of time for actual reporters who spend hours/days correcting the record after these go 'viral'); this is killing responsible journalism, necessitating a rethink



  9. The Web is Not JavaScript

    Simple sites respect visitors; rather than and instead of exploiting them or passing burdens to user-end browsers we should focus on text and links — the very core components of hypertext as opposed to bells and whistles



  10. Links 21/7/2019: DXVK 1.3.1, GameMode, Mutter 3.33.4

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/7/2019: Weston 7.0 Alpha, Nageru 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  12. Companies That Collapse Because the European Patent Office (EPO) Gave Them Fake Patents in a Hurry

    False hopes and false promises won’t do any favours to European Patents, whose legal certainty suffers because Campinos and Battistelli measure nothing but ‘production’ (quantity) rather than quality of patents



  13. Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come

    The inevitable has happened to Slack, which no longer deserves to exist as a company; moreover, the people who ran the company must be held criminally accountable



  14. Demand for European Patents Will Continue to Decrease If a Lot of European Patents Turn Out to be Invalid, Worthless

    The EPO's abandonment of patent justice and quality (in pursuit of so-called 'production' targets) is likely to doom the Office as the whole or render it vastly less relevant to the rest of the world



  15. 35 U.S.C. § 101 Still in Tact in the United States and Software Patents Rot Away

    The United States, where the number of granted patents decreased last year, becomes more productive; there are more signs that patent maximalism (patent litigation, patent scope etc.) has receded



  16. Links 19/7/2019: Deepin 15.11 and GNU/Linux Back on GPD MicroPC

    Links for the day



  17. Violence is Not Free Speech and Laws Exist Against Violence

    Free speech is certainly under attack and the debate is being framed within the context of Nazism; but this overlooks the fact that there are actual death threats and calls for genocide in the mix



  18. Links 19/7/2019: Oracle Linux 8.0, Latte Dock 0.9 Beta and PCLinuxOS KDE Darkstar 2019.07

    Links for the day



  19. Why Does Jim Zemlin Publicly Congratulate Microsoft?

    The signs aren't particularly encouraging when one considers that the leadership of the Linux Foundation is a fan of Microsoft and sometimes connected to Microsoft



  20. 2 Days Later (Case in Progress) and Still Media Silence About G 2/19

    The very legitimacy of years' worth of rulings and the EPO's abusive attacks on judges are under the microscope; but the media isn't paying any attention, perhaps deliberately



  21. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  22. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  24. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  25. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  26. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  27. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  28. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  29. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  30. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')


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