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

07.13.09

Microsoft Still Lobbies for Software Patents in Europe, via ACT/Jonathan Zuck

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 2:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bees

Summary: The FFII finds itself facing a drone of Microsoft rather than Microsoft itself

A FEW DAYS ago we showed that the activity of Microsoft front group ACT was backfiring when it comes to accusing the European Commission of discrimination. But on the patent front, this group continues doing Microsoft’s dirty work. From IP Watch (subscription needed):

But the main argument for continuing the discussions is the need for it, Josefsson said: “The urgency of making the patent system in Europe less costly and more accessible to particular small and medium-sized enterprises is there.” The software industry supports the Swedish efforts. Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology, said: “The Swedish presidency’s commitment to move the EU Community Patent forward is a breath of fresh air. We wish the new presidency all the success in their negotiations to achieve the agreement that SMEs have been waiting for so long.”

It’s not just IP Watch which neglects to say that ACT speaks for Microsoft. Meller gives ACT exposure again (it is part of a pattern [1, 2, 3]), despite it being a Microsoft drone. From his article on the subject:

“The Swedish Presidency’s commitment to move the E.U. Community Patent forward is a breath of fresh air,” said Jonathan Zuck, President of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), in a statement.

Why can’t Microsoft speak directly on this subject, especially in Europe? Is it afraid of the Commission? Must it instead send lobbying groups/fronts like the BSA, CompTIA, and ACT to represent it (see EIF lobby for example)? Microsoft has many lobbyists in Europe.

For a change (perhaps), FFII gets his share in this IDG/Meller article:

However, opponents of a unified patent system say just the opposite.

“With the financial crisis and climate change as looming priorities, the Swedish presidency is going to be hard-pressed to move forward an agenda that has been mired in deep political fights for the last thirty years,” said Benjamin Henrion, president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII).

The FFII argues that a Community Patent will make it easier to pass software patents in Europe, and it says a single patent litigation area is merely a way to circumvent the legal authority of the European Court of Justice, which it trusts could safeguard the E.U. from software patents.

“While large US software firms keep up their hopes for cheap enforceable software patents in Europe, the facts on the ground suggest that this debate will crawl, not run,” Henrion said.

Here is Henrion’s new presentation (also as HTML).

The EPO is on the wrong side of this debate because the more patents it grants (the broader the scope), the more money it makes. And watch this book which the EPO endorses/recommends now. It talks about software patents.

Two chapters were written by EPO experts: Nigel Clarke wrote about searching patent information, and Colin Stratford clarified the often misunderstood and misreported practice of the EPO with regard to computer-implemented inventions.

Jeremy Philpott leads the Innovation Support activities of the European Patent Academy, where he organises training programmes for business audiences across Europe on topics such as patent strategies and innovation management.

The pharmaceutical cartel, which Bill Gates invests billions of dollars in, is also pushing quite a lot for the “Community” patent in Europe. Digital Majority found confirmatory evidence also in this enormous document [PDF]. In the UK, the IPKats wrote about this too:

Market entry of generic drugs is delayed and there is a decline in the number of novel medicines reaching the market … The sector inquiry suggests that company practices are among the causes, but does not exclude other factors such as shortcomings in the regulatory framework. As a follow up, the Commission intends to intensify its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical sector under EC antitrust law, including continued monitoring of settlements between originator and generic drug companies. The first antitrust investigations are already under way. The report also calls on Member States to introduce legislation to facilitate the uptake of generic drugs. The report notes near universal support amongst stakeholders for a Community Patent [it has taken about two decades to win this battle...] and specialised patent litigation system [... and rather less time to win this one ...] in Europe [... but this is a much wider issue than pharma alone].

For those who are fairly new to this discussion, the pharmaceutical cartel is often accused of using patents to kill in the sense that people’s lives are held hostage [1, 2, 3]. The Guardian has a new article (from Sunday) on this subject:

Drug companies should give up their patent rights to HIV medicines to help prevent the deaths of millions of people in poor countries, a British government minister will say this week.

The international development minister, Mike Foster, will call on pharmaceutical companies to put lives before profits, as the all-party parliamentary group on Aids publishes a report this week detailing the scale of the “treatment timebomb”. By 2030, they estimate, 50 million people will need new drugs, which are currently prohibitively expensive, to keep them alive.

To summarise sensibly, it is important to know who is lobbying for this unification (“Community” patent) and why. This is a back door to software patents in Europe.

“Software patents are a huge potential threat to the ability of people to work together on open source. Making it easier for companies and communities that have patents to make those patents available in a common pool for people to use is one way to try to help developers deal with the threat.”

Linus Torvalds

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,

    July 13, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Gravatar

    The article is misleading, there is no FFII position against the community patent (as such) and substantive patent harmonisation within the EU. Benjamin sees the new court as an instrument for a paneuropean hostile takeover of the legislative branch via a trusted court, but that is the plain result from studying the Council draft documents and their center of gravitation: The EPO in Munich.

  2. The Mad Hatter said,

    July 15, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Gravatar

    As I’ve pointed out in more than one place, the problem isn’t software patents, it’s patents period. Any company that claims it needs patents to be competitive, is admitting that it’s incapable of competing on a level playing field. Its also admitting that its management is incompetent, but that’s another matter.

What Else is New


  1. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's Wall

    Battistelli's solution to everything at the EPO is exclusion and barriers



  2. The 'New' Microsoft is Still Acting Like a Dangerous Cult in an Effort to Hijack and/or Undermine All Free/Open Source Software

    In an effort to combat any large deployment of non-Microsoft software, the company goes personal and attempts to overthrow even management that is not receptive to Microsoft's agenda



  3. PTAB Petitioned to Help Against Patent Troll InfoGation Corp., Which Goes After Linux/Android OEMs in China

    A new example of software patents against Free software, or trolls against companies that are distributing freedom-respecting software from a country where these patents are not even potent (they don't exist there)



  4. Links 20/2/2017: Linux 4.10, LineageOS Milestone

    Links for the day



  5. No, Doing Mathematical Operations on a Processor Does Not Make Algorithms Patent-Eligible

    Old and familiar tricks -- a method for tricking examiners into the idea that algorithms are actual machines -- are being peddled by Watchtroll again



  6. Paid-for UPC Proponent, IAM 'Magazine', Debunked on UPC Again

    The impact of the corrupted (by EPO money) media goes further than one might expect and even 'borrows' out-of-date news in order to promote the UPC



  7. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

    The status of the EPO as an entity above the law (in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and so on) is becoming the subject of press reports and staff is leaving in large numbers



  8. Links 19/2/2017: GParted 0.28.1, LibreOffice Donations Record

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  10. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  11. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)



  12. Links 17/2/2017: Wine 2.2, New Ubuntu LTS

    Links for the day



  13. Bad Advice From Mintz Levin and Bejin Bieneman PLC Would Have People Believe That Software Patents Are Still Worth Pursuing

    The latest examples of misleading articles which, in spite of the avalanche of software patents in the United States, continue to promote these



  14. Patents Are Not Property, They Are a Monopoly, and They Are Not Owned But Temporarily Granted

    Patent maximalism and distortion of concepts associated with patents tackled again, for terminology is being hijacked by those who turned patents into their "milking cows"



  15. SoftBank Group, New Owner of ARM, Could Potentially Become (in Part) a Patent Troll or an Aggressor Like Qualcomm

    SoftBank grabbed headlines (in the West at least) when it bought ARM, but will it soon grab headlines for going after practicing companies using a bunch of patents that it got from Inventergy, ARM, and beyond?



  16. Technicolor, Having Turned Into a Patent Troll, Attacks Android/Tizen/Linux With Patents in Europe

    Technicolor, which a lot of the media portrayed as a patent troll in previous years (especially after it had sued Apple, HTC and Samsung), is now taking action against Samsung in Europe (Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim)



  17. Michelle Lee is Still “in Charge” of the US Patent System

    Contrary to a malicious whispering campaign against Lee (a coup attempt, courtesy of patent maximalists who make a living from mass litigation), she is still in charge of the USPTO



  18. Our Assessment: EPO Wants a Lot of Low-Quality Patents and Low-Paid Staff With UPC (Prosecution Galore)

    The European Patent Office seems to be less interested in examination and more interested in facilitating overzealous prosecution all across Europe and beyond; The Administrative Council has shown no signs that it is interested in profound changes, except those proposed by Battistelli in the face of growing resistance from staff and from ordinary stakeholders



  19. Links 16/2/2017: HITMAN for GNU/Linux, Go 1.8

    Links for the day



  20. Yet More Complaints About the European Patent Office in the Bavarian Regional Government

    Some German politicians do care about the welfare of EPO staff, a lot more so than the EPO's management that is actively crushing this staff



  21. EPO Staff Representatives to Escalate Complaint About Severe Injustices to the EPO's Secretive Board 28

    In a new letter to President Benoît Battistelli it is made abundantly apparent -- however politely -- that Battistelli's gross abuses could further complicate things for Battistelli, who is already embroiled in a fight with his predecessor, Roland Grossenbacher



  22. New Survey Reveals That High Patent Quality, or Elimination of Bad Patents, is Desirable to Patent Holders

    A new survey from Bloomberg BNA and AIPLA reveals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which still grows in prominence, is supported by people who have themselves gotten patents (not those who are in the bureaucracy of patents and self-serving politics)



  23. Open Patent Office is Not the Solution; Ending Software Patents is the Solution

    Our remarks about the goals and methods of the newly-established Open Patent Office and what is instead needed in order to combat the menace that threatens software development



  24. New Scholarly Paper Says “UK’s Withdrawal From the EU Could Mean That the Entire (Unitary Patent) System Will Not Go Into Effect”

    A paper from academics -- not from the patent microcosm (for a change) -- provides a more sobering interpretation, suggesting quite rightly that the UPC can't happen in the UK (or in Europe), or simply not endure if some front groups such as CIPA somehow managed to bamboozle politicians into it (ratification in haste, before the facts are known)



  25. Patent Trolls Update: Rodney Gilstrap Maintains His Support for Trolls, MPEG-LA Goes Hunting in China, and Blackberry Hits Nokia

    A roundup of the latest news about patent trolls and what they are up to in the United States, Europe, and Asia



  26. Guest Post: EPO, an Idyllic Place to Work

    The true face of the EPO as explained by an insider, recalling the history that led to the negative image and toxic work atmosphere



  27. Links 15/2/2017: Linux 4.9.10 and Linux 4.4.49

    Links for the day



  28. Claude Rouiller (ILOAT) and ILO Rulings Effectively Disregarded by the European Patent Office

    The compositions of kangaroo courts at the EPO continue to be absurd, in spite of a ruling from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which insisted that change must be made following a lot of mistrials



  29. National Law Journal Believes That Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice Would be Opponent of Patent Reform

    Whispering campaign surrounds Neil Gorsuch's alleged or perceived views on patents, and in particular the America Invents Act (AIA) which brought the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a serial invalidator of software patents, owing to Alice (a Supreme Court decision)



  30. Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) is a Lobby Group for Software Patents and Patent Maximalism

    An introduction to what the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding really is, what it is for, and who is behind it


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