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

12.18.09

European Commission Plans to Allow Patent Imperialism, Authorises Microsoft’s Attack on Free Software

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents at 12:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michel Barnier
The man whose job is to pass
anti-Free(dom) software laws

Summary: The EU Commission wants Michel Barnier to make the Community patent a reality (“community” being a euphemism that would fascinate even Orwell)

André Rebentisch points out that in these documents from the EU Commission exists evidence that it actually strives — not just considers — to create a back door for software patents to enter the continent. Here is the man to watch out for:

Mr Michel BARNIER

Commissioner designate
− We should work to make real progress on free movement of services, beginning with a full implementation of the Services Directive. A review of the professional qualifications legislation will also be needed.
− As to public procurement and intellectual property rights, you will take the lead on our efforts to secure the adoption of a Community patent, and developing effective policy for the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
− Integrated, efficient and safe financial markets are needed more than ever to help the EU economy grow again. However, the EU’s regulatory framework and the supervisory structures must be strengthened, and you will have a key role to ensure this happens.
To help you fulfil your responsibilities, DG MARKT will be under your authority as well as the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM).

Rebentisch has also taken a look at the Commission’s latest deal with Microsoft (we covered it in [1, 2, 3]) and found evidence that OOXML is indeed the scam people have been warning about. From the summary:

Microsoft will document “additional information” to ECMA 376 and will comply with ECMA 376 1st January and shields the freedom to create software as a work of art pour l’art.

The next section says: “Now the patent pledge for open source… developers!”

It is worth seeing all the nasty verbiage that Microsoft has bundled so as to exclude Free software. It is truly appalling, so the FSFE, Groklaw, Glyn Moody and other parties that are familiar with these matters have publicly complained. Matt Asay, on the other hand, seems to have fallen victim to the PR. He is belittling Microsoft’s crimes, which are very unique, leading to some negative comments. “Matt seems to pity the tiger,” argues Neko Nata and Steve Stites wrote a long response which includes the following reference to Novell, Asay’s former employer.

The Novell contract was an agreement meant to bring Open Source under Microsoft’s control. Steve Ballmer was surprised when the Open Source movement defeated the contract by simply boycotting Novell.

Recently we’ve been finding claims that Microsoft deliberately settles with some patent trolls so that they proceed to terrifying the entire industry. Bill Gates and Microsoft happen to fund the world's biggest patent troll. Watch this latest consequence, which we mentioned just the other day.

Secretive Patent Holder Sues Lots Of Companies For Remote Activation Software

[...]

Obviously, none of those companies could have come up with ways to remotely activate software without this patent (yes, that’s sarcasm). As the Register notes in the link above, even some of the software products listed as violating this patent don’t seem to involve activation at all, raising serious questions about how they could possibly violate this patent. This sounds like yet another case of someone having read the book Rembrandt’s in the Attic and deciding to go trolling for companies to sue with a meaningless patent.

This system of high risk is problematic for Free software and Microsoft knows it (both lawsuits and perceived risk are harmful). That’s why Microsoft fuels it.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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

8 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 18, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Gravatar

    As for Matt being out of touch, his background includes Novell. No telling what’s up with him now but a bad start like that in his career isn’t going to turn around slowly.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Gravatar

    The quote from Marco Schulze is great but it misses the larger group at risk: small and medium sized companies. If the issue were copyright, then the quote would be spot-on. However, the issue is usage of software, that’s what patents are about: usage. So the phrasing should be unquoted and corrected to take into account the real scope of the threat:

    “Small companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?”

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Don’t you just repeat the point he made?

  3. Jose_X said,

    December 19, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Gravatar

    We need to market patent problems much louder so that ordinary people realize their losses and petition their representatives.

  4. Jose_X said,

    December 19, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Gravatar

    I thought it was bad news when the FFII guy (sorry, don’t remember name) got that award. I think it was their way of getting rid of him while smiling for the cameras (let him have his moment in the spotlight while we get some votes of approval, they likely thought).

    Jose_X Reply:

    I hope this comment is not taken as disrespectful. Here is a link http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/about/founder.html

    >> Mr. Müller asked us to mention that he views those awards and honors as “a recognition of what our overall resistance movement achieved”. He stresses that he owes his nominations “to all activists and citizens who supported our cause, especially to the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure)”.

    What I am saying is that I worry that giving the award (directly or indirectly) was a way to make concession (tip hat) to a worthy foe but ultimately not give in.

    Jose_X Reply:

    The community patent might end up being a weak(er) law or it might not.

    I think the lesson to be learned is that this is a constant battle.

    What we have to show is that the more time passes, the more people dislike patents and associate the monopolies with an abuse of power, an infringement on people’s rights, a decrease in competition and in innovation, an increase in costs, a consolidation of power, etc.

    [I posted this the other day: http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/12/predicted-2009-patent-application-filings.html?cid=6a00d8341c588553ef0128765f242c970c#comment-6a00d8341c588553ef0128765f242c970c ]

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Right now he works with Monty on the MySQL situation.

What Else is New


  1. Mythology About Patents in the East

    Misconceptions (or deliberate propaganda) about patent policy in the east poison the debate and derail a serious, facts-based discussion about it



  2. Patent Trolls Watch: Red River Innovations, Bradium Technologies/General Patent, and Wordlogic

    A quick look at some patent trolls that made the news this Monday; we are still seeing a powerful response to such trolls, whose momentum is slipping owing to the good work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  3. Holding Benoît Battistelli Accountable After the EPO

    The many abuses and offenses committed by Mr. Battistelli whilst he enjoyed diplomatic immunity can and should be brought up as that immunity expires in two months; a good start would be contacting his colleagues, who might not be aware of the full spectrum of his abuses



  4. Links 23/4/2018: Second RC of Linux 4.17 and First RC of Mesa 18.1

    Links for the day



  5. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  6. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  7. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  8. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  9. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  10. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  11. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  12. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  13. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  14. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  15. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  16. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  17. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  18. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  19. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  20. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  21. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  22. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  23. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  24. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  25. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  26. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  27. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  28. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  29. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  30. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported


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