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. Links 5/12/2016: SparkyLinux 4.5 Released, Kondik Exits Cyanogen (Destroyed After Microsoft Deal)

    Links for the day



  2. Software Patents Continue Their Invalidation Process, But Patent Law Firms Try to Deny This in Order to Attract Misinformed (or Poorly-Informed) Clients

    A roundup of news about software patents and demonstration of the sheer bias in the media, which is mostly controlled or steered by the patent microcosm rather than actual inventors



  3. Patent Trolls of Microsoft and Ericsson Are Trying to Tax Everything, Especially Linux Devices

    An update on Intellectual Ventures and Unwired Planet, whose operations pose a growing problem for Free software and Linux-based products (e.g. Android)



  4. Asia's Patent Litigation Chaos Getting Worse, Reaching Countries in the West, and Sites Like IAM Actively Promote This

    The race to the bottom (of patent quality) in China, the growth of patent trolls in the region, and the ruinous litigation strategy which now spills over even to the US -- through the Eastern District of Texas -- and may inevitably come to Europe (especially if the UPC ever becomes a reality)



  5. More French Politicians Are Complaining That Benoît Battistelli is a Disgrace to France and Urge for Action

    The backlash against Battistelli spills well outside the EPO and is now apparent even at the French National Assembly



  6. Links 3/12/2016: Mageia 5.1 Released, Mozilla Revenue at $421.3M

    Links for the day



  7. Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Sees Decline in Patent Applications and It May Actually be a Good Thing

    Challenging the false belief that the more patents society has the better off it will be, citing examples and news from north America



  8. Blockchain Domain Infested With Software Patents, MasterCard Among the Culprits

    Worrying signs that an area of Free/Open Source software innovation is getting impacted by the plague of software patents



  9. Dutch Media Covers Latest EPO Scandals, German Media Totally Absent (a Media Blackout of Convenience)

    Our observations regarding the apparent media disinterest in EPO scandals, especially at the very core of the EPO (principal host country)



  10. Relocating the Boards of Appeal to Haar is a Poisonous Priority at Battistelli's EPO

    Revisiting Battistelli's effort to chop off the appeal boards that are necessary for ensuring patent quality at the EPO



  11. Links 2/12/2016: Mint Betas, Chrome 55, KDevelop 5.0.3, PHP 7.1.0

    Links for the day



  12. The Rule of Law and Justice Don't Exist Inside the EPO, Confirms the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    Further analysis of the latest rulings from the ILO -- decisions that were long expected



  13. A Day in the Life of... Battistelli's Banana Republic

    This is part 5 of a fictional diary from the EPO



  14. Links 1/12/2016: Devuan Beta, R3 Liberates Code

    Links for the day



  15. Two ILO Decisions on EPO Cases Are Released, at Least One Judgment is Considered Good for Staff

    Years later (as justice is too slow, partly because of the EPO, being the principal culprit that clogs up the ILO's tribunal system) there is a couple of new judgments about EPO abuses against staff



  16. Dutch and French Politicians Complain About the European Patent Office, British Media Coverage Regular Now

    Pressure from the political systems, the scientific community and from the media is growing, as it becomes abundantly apparent that the EPO cannot go on like this



  17. Links 30/11/2016: Git 2.11, GOG Surprise Tomorrow

    Links for the day



  18. The UPC Scam Part IV: Bumps Along the Road for UPC, With or Without the UK and Brexit

    A sobering reality check regarding the UPC, no matter what Lucy Neville-Rolfe says under pressure from Battistelli and some selfish law firms that are based in London



  19. The UPC Scam Part III: The “Patent Mafia”

    Bigwigs like Lucy Neville-Rolfe and Benoît Battistelli, together with Team UPC and its tiny minority interests (self enrichment), are conspiring to hijack the laws of Europe, doing so across many national borders with unique and locally-steered patent policy in one fell swoop



  20. The UPC Scam Part II: The Patent Echo Chamber at Work, Prematurely Congratulating Itself in Its 'News' Sites





  21. The UPC Scam Part I: EPO-Bribed Media Outlets Lie to Brits (and to Europeans) About the UPC

    An introductory article in a multi-part series about UPC at times of Brexit and Lucy Neville-Rolfe's bizarre sellout to Battistelli



  22. European Public Service Union Asks EPO Administrative Council “to Re-establish the Rule of Law at the European Patent Office”

    The chinchillas of the Administrative Council are assertively asked to tackle the abusive management of the EPO, which gets condemned not only by CERN but also EPSU, which is working with the Dutch government to end lawlessness at the EPO



  23. Links 29/11/2016: Core Apps Hackfest, MuckRock Goes FOSS

    Links for the day



  24. ILOAT Decisions: Upcoming Publication of Two EPO Cases (Abuse Against Staff)

    Reminder about tomorrow's "exceptional public delivery" from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and a request for additional information



  25. Mixing Politics and EPO: How Battistelli Defies the Very Basic Rules of the Office

    A reminder of the fact that Battistelli was entrenched in French politics even while he was serving at the EPO



  26. EPO DG1 Principal Director “Out of the Muppet Show”

    The ridicule of EPO management is a symptom of a poisonous work environment which now resembles an assembly line of bad patents, where employees are treated unfairly, severely, and in clear defiance of labour laws



  27. Learning From the Mistakes of the US Patent System (and More Latterly China) When Assessing Patent Maximalism

    The warning signs coming both from the East and from the West, demonstrating the pitfalls of a policy too permissive on patents and thus on litigation



  28. The International Labour Organisation Once Again Proves Useless for Labour of the EPO

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is once again failing too serve justice, instead just sending complaints elsewhere, in effect into a black hole



  29. CERN Slams the European Patent Office for Abuse of Employees

    The European Organisation for Nuclear Research known as CERN is openly condemning EPO management and the Administrative Council for violation of human/labour rights, not to mention the other abuses that are rampant under Battistelli's notorious regime



  30. Links 28/11/2016: X-Plane 11 Beta, Early Work For C++20, Microsoft Hole in RHEL

    Links for the day


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