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. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  3. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  5. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  6. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  7. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  9. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  11. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  12. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  13. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  14. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)



  15. Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

    The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)



  16. With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

    Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 26, 2020



  18. Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020



  20. Still Work in Progress: Getting Those 2,851 Pages of Police Report About Arrest for Pedophilia in Home of Bill Gates

    It’s extremely difficult to get those police records, which were requested exactly one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman (associating him with pedophiles based on a deliberate distortion)



  21. Links 26/3/2020: Plasma Bigscreen, New Kubernetes, Fedora's New Identity and Bodhi Linux 5.1.0

    Links for the day



  22. Guest Article: Window Managers, Github and Software Disobedience

    "Walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom"



  23. Links 25/3/2020: LLVM 10.0.0 and UCS 4.4-4 Released, WordPress 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  24. 'Team UPC' Last Week

    The looks on Team UPC's faces 5 days ago (before and after the 9:30AM announcement)



  25. The Fall of the UPC - Part VII: Lies and Revisionism About the Reasons for the UPC's Ultimate Demise (to Leave the Door Open for More Failed Attempts)

    The media was lying in a hurry, in a coordinated effort to distort the meaning of the FCC's decision or belittle the impact of this decision; Techrights will carefully watch and respond to these lies



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 24, 2020



  27. Linux Foundation Became Anti-Linux, Run by Microsoft People to Serve Microsoft's Agenda

    Microsoft is taking over the bodies of healthy projects, infecting the hosts in order for them to become slaves of the proprietary parasite; there's still no (known) cure, but we're familiar with the symptoms



  28. Microsoft Continues to Attack and Steal From the Open Source/Free Software Communities

    Microsoft cannot be trusted and there's no "new Microsoft," as another fairly new story serves to show



  29. Targeted Attack Leveraging FSF Servers

    Targeted by a determined and persist perpetrator, I've received over 20,000 E-mails. And the weapon of choice was the FSF's infrastructure, remotely misused against yours truly.



  30. If We Weren't Silencing Founders, Critics and People We Just Don't Like

    "In the long run, history is rarely very kind to tyrants, especially the ones who did little more than lie to people and demand things that served no real purpose."


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