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12.23.09

Patents Roundup: Software Patents and ACTA at STOA, Gates-backed Monsanto Wants to Own Mexico’s Food Supply

Posted in Bill Gates, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Many Mexican flags

Summary: The rights of freelance/small developers are further abolished by big business and so-called ‘trade’ agreements; Mexican farmers too are at risk of becoming vassals of patent monsters

YESTERDAY we wrote about the sad state of European law, which is being ‘massaged’ by multinationals that want to protect monopolies with more patents and ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. The FFII has gotten a copy [WMV] of proceedings at STOA and its president reports that it covers “how to get software patents in Europe.” He also adds: “ACTA [is] mentioned in length in the video recording of the STOA meeting in the European Parliament”

This is very troubling because TRIPS [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] inside ACTA is another enabler of patent colonialism.

Over in the UK, a developer has explained why software patents are highly undesirable. He writes to his MP and here is the beginning of the letter:

Dear Rob Wilson MP,

My accountants have drawn my attention to a little-noticed clause in the Chancellor’s recent pre-budget statement that announces a measure (curiously named the “patent box”) whose effect is to offer a reduced rate of corporation tax for profits deriving from patents. The stated intent is to encourage and reward innovation. As far as the software business (so important to the economy of your constituency) is concerned, the effect is likely to be exactly the opposite, and I would therefore like to encourage you to oppose it and to ensure that a Conservative government will not only reverse it, but move in the opposite direction.

First let me explain where I am coming from. After 25 years as a senior software engineer with ICL, I spent 3 years with the mid-size German company Software AG, and for the last six years I have been running my own one-man software company here in Reading. It’s a successful small business, selling globally over the internet, and relying 100% on innovation: my competitors are companies like IBM and Intel. They have both produced products similar to mine this year, but 5 years behind.

Technically, UK and EU law disallows patents on software. However, the patent lawyers have found ways around that, and the current situation is that the patent offices are accepting applications that are software patents in all but name, and the courts are accepting them as valid.

The software business does not need incentives to innovate. If you don’t innovate, you die.

As we pointed out a few weeks ago, Mexicans too are at risk of having software patents imposed on them by the multinationals and the monopolists. According to this, the Gates-backed Monsanto wants a monopoly on Mexican food as well. [via Richard Stallman]

Mexico doesn’t have an adequate system to monitor or protect natural maize (corn) varieties from transgenes, say prominent scientists concerned about the experimental planting of genetically modified crops.

In the past month, Monsanto and Dow AgriSciences have received government permission to plant transgenic maize across 24 plots, covering a total of nearly 13 hectares, in the northern states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas. The planting of transgenic maize had been prohibited for 11 years in Mexico, where maize was first domesticated.

This is a huge mistake! Monsanto is just trying to own their crops and their food, but people might not be made aware of it because über-lobbyist for Monsanto, Bill Gates, is monopolising/controlling communication about the subject [1, 2, 3]. Below we have added some more information about Monsanto.

  1. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  2. Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
  3. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  4. Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
  5. Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
  6. Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
  7. Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
  8. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  9. Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
  10. Explanation of What Bill Gates’ Patent Investments Do to Developing World
  11. Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
  12. Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
  13. Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
  14. Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
  15. Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
  16. Beyond the ‘Public Relations’
  17. UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
  18. “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
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