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


Microsoft and Its Front Group, Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), Organise Software Patents Lobby Events in Europe

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACT Microsoft

Summary: The Microsoft PR effort to marginalise or illegalise Free software overseas carries on quietly (using proxies, as usual)


FEW days ago we wrote about Microsoft people engaging with and entering "Open Source", possibly in order to change its agenda (although it could innocently be just a side effect). This is known as entryism and if there is no shielding against it, then the outcome can be fatal. One has to be careful of the sort of 'monopoly' on Free/open source licence statistics from a Microsoft-sourced company called Black Duck for instance. (Dis)Information is power and this power tends to be misused when put in the wrong hands. Deception and advertising is how those entities make a living. Likewise, to let former Microsoft employees decide whose voice counts in “Open Source” is rather risky. Last year we showed that Microsoft lobbyists (notably Zuck from Association for Competitive Technology) managed to infiltrate an “Open Source” panel where they subverted collective opinion to affect policies. We took it up to the European Commission and wrote about this in:

  1. European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
  2. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  3. Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
  4. The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
  5. 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
  6. After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
  7. Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists
  8. ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
  9. Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”

The Web site called European Voice is currently promoting Microsoft’s lobbying event for software patents in Europe. At first we suspected that this Web site was something like OpenMainframe.org (Microsoft attack site against GNU/Linux), but upon closer inspection of previous articles we found just a mix of views, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Nevertheless, why would such a site promote Microsoft’s agenda? It’s a Windows site and strangely enough, it is registered by The Economist:

 The Economist Newspaper Limited                                
 25 St James's Street                                           
 London,  SW1A 1HG                                              


 Administrative Contact:
    Manager, Domain  economistdomains@comlaude.com
    25 St James's Street                          
    London,  SW1A 1HG                             
    +44.2078360070    Fax: +44.8700118187         

 Technical Contact:
    Administrator, DNS  dnsadmin@economist.com
    26 Red Lion Square                        
    London,  WC1R 4HQ                         
    +44.2078360070    Fax: +44.8700118187     

 Registration Service Provider:
    Nom IQ Ltd (trading as Com Laude), admin@comlaude.com
    Address for Legal Service: Nom IQ Ltd (trading as Com Laude), 116 Long
    Acre, London, WC2E 9SU.  Com Laude is responsible for the registration,
    maintenance and management of this domain name.                        

 Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
 Record last updated on 12-Jan-2010.
 Record expires on 21-Jul-2012.     
 Record created on 21-Jul-1999.     

 Registrar Domain Name Help Center:


 Domain servers in listed order:

 Domain status: clientTransferProhibited

The event it is organising is supported by ACT (the Microsoft front group). The president of the FFII, Benjamin Henrion, publicly warns that “ACT continues to push for software patents in Europe, Innovation Summit at the end of the month in Brussels.” ACT is clearly a front for Microsoft and rather than deny this with counter arguments, Zuck and his colleagues repeatedly defame my character in their Web site. This attitude is telling and it is also used by Microsoft technical evangelists (sometimes a euphemism for AstroTurfers on the payroll). Defamation is what one gets for exposing Microsoft’s nature and modus operandi. Groklaw received similar treatment from SCO.

“ACT continues to push for software patents in Europe…”
      –Benjamin Henrion, FFII
Not only ACT supports this event though. Microsoft’s “eskills” project is there too. Here is some background (more in another page with proof that it’s a Microsoft project in this document/leaflet [PDF]), which ties the project to “Jan Muehlfeit, chairman of Microsoft Europe and co-chair of the European”. We wrote about him in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] because of his lobbying in Europe. He is allegedly a former communist [1, 2], but that’s not the key point.

It is abundantly clear that Microsoft is actively working towards the goal of legalising software patents in Europe so that it can pursue Free software exclusion (taxing it or making it illegal).

The president of the FFII points to this new post and argues that “Neelie Kroes pushing for software patents in standards, Digital Commissioner Kroes proposes new EU policy of open standards” (she was lobbied by Microsoft).

From the introduction:

AN IMPORTANT POLICY PAPER, A Digital Agenda for Europe –

Neelie Kroes has been making many mistakes regarding software patents as of late [1, 2]. We also learn that “DG Enterprise is pro software patents, and hostile to real open standards. They defend patent holders such as Philips and BSA.” In the following new post we are reminded that in the UK at least, software patents are already forcing their way into the system.

In simplified terms the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) on the other hand follows law and practice in the UK instead where a patent for software can be granted only where the software has a technical effect.

In summary, Microsoft has not given up on changing EU laws to discriminate against Free software. This is a major issue that a lot of GNU/Linux-oriented Web sites continue to ignore. Sometimes, those who point this out are accused of sensationalism or FUD; such accusations are only proof of gullibility and they are counter productive.

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway”, —Marshall Phelps, IAM: Microsoft to have 50,000 patents within two years, Phelps reveals

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

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #Microsoft and Its Front Group #ACT Organise Software Patents Lobby Events in #Europe http://ur1.ca/qpjf

What Else is New

  1. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  2. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  3. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  4. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  5. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  6. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  7. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  8. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  9. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  10. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  11. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  12. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  13. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  14. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  15. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  16. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  17. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  18. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  19. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  20. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  21. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  22. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  23. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  24. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  26. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  27. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  28. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  29. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  30. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic


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