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

04.27.10

Why Klaus-Heiner Lehne Lobbies for Software Patents (Money of Course)

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Klaus-Heiner Lehne
Klaus-Heiner Lehne / Source: Europa.eu

Summary: A look at one of the software patent culprits, who advances personal agenda at the expense of Europe’s

WHEN it comes to software patents in Europe, lobbyists in their favour are rarely people who work in the software industry. Rather, they are lawyers, lobbyists, and software monopolies that hire lobbyists like CompTIA and ACT.

‘Lehne was a partner at Taylor Wessing, which advises clients [on] “software patents”‘
      –Benjamin Henrion, FFII
Klaus-Heiner Lehne has been a key lobbyist for software patents in Europe and his conflicts of interest have been known for a while. We wrote about him here and discussed his position a little further in this post about Bilski. Lehne was one of the MEPs pushing strongly for software patents and in 2007 we cited an analysis that said: “It now appears that Lehne works as a Brussels lobbying consultant for multinational corporations who are the main clients of one of the leading lawfirms for patent litigation in Europe, which is also itself involved in patent lobbying and closely connected to lobbying organisations.”

“Lehne was a partner at Taylor Wessing, which advises clients [on] “software patents”,” explained Benjamin Henrion (the president of the FFII) a few hours ago. “Taylor Wessing’s clients include SAP,” he alleges and here is the full document [PDF] which in page 96 says: “Kauppi, in fact, only just pipped two of her colleagues to the title for ‘Worst Conflict of Interest’ in the public vote. The runners-up were British MEP Caroline Jackson and Germany’s Klaus-Heiner Lehne.

Later on the document gives many more details about Lehne’s role:

Patently absurd?

Just behind Jackson in the public vote for the Conflict of Interest Award was German lawyer and MEP Klaus-Heiner Lehne, a member of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee. Lehne has been one of the most influential backers of the EU software patents directive which, according to critics, granted large corporations stronger intellectual property rights over software. At the same time Lehne was a partner at the law firm Taylor Wessing, which advises clients “on patenting strategy in the software sector”.16 Taylor Wessing’s clients include SAP, the world’s largest business software company.17

Lehne sees no conflict of interest in being an MEP involved in EU patent legislation and acting as a lawyer to clients on patents. “Being a lawyer and being an MEP in the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament is normal”, he says.18

An influential MEP who worked with Lehne on the patents directive is the British Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who is a patent lawyer19 and a partner in a patent firm (along with her husband Andrew Horton, a European patent attorney).20 Critics ask if it is possible for Bowles to “see the other side of the debate” given that she is so in favour of patents. Bowles maintains that there is no “conflict of interest with me being an MEP and a patent lawyer, as I am not practising. Technically I do maintain my ability to practise because of my partner in the business, my husband”.21

Another influential player in the software patents directive debate was the ‘Campaign for Creativity’, which won the 2005 Worst EU Lobbying Award.22 The man behind the campaign, Simon Gentry, noted that Sharon Bowles had been key as she had “excelled in putting the case for our side of the argument”.23 Bowles did not like being criticised about her commercial links and rather dramatically likened her critics to the “forces of evil”.24

[...]

16 Taylor Wessing, Patents, brochure, 2006.

17 In 2005, a spokesman for SAP denied working with Taylor Wessing. However information supplied by SAP to the website ‘Virtual law’, lists SAP as a client of Taylor Wessing. http://www.virtuallaw.eu/taylor-wessing.html

18 Klaus-Heiner Lehne, email to Andy Rowell, 17 June 2008.

19 Sharon Bowles, Declaration of Members’ Financial Interests, 2006.

20 According to Bowles biography on Liberal Democrat website.

21 Sharon Bowles, interview with Andy Rowell, May 2008.

22 See the website of the 2005 Worst EU Lobbying Awards: http://www.worstlobby.eu/2005.

23 Corporate Europe Observatory, How the Campaign for Creativity morphed into the Innovation and Creativity Group (Amsterdam: November 2006).

24 Sharon Bowles, interview with Andy Rowell, May 2008.

Why is Lehne still serving in the parliament? He obviously does not serve Europe; instead he is serving his own bank account and colleagues.

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

What Else is New


  1. Patent Extremism is Not Normal and Not an Innocent Mindset

    Reflection upon the sad state of the European patent system and how media turns a blind eye to it; worldwide, in general, the discussion about patents is being warped by the litigation giants, whose sole goal is to maximise the number of lawsuits/shakedowns (personal gain)



  2. Links 22/9/2019: LLVM 9.0.0 and FreeBSD 12.1 Beta

    Links for the day



  3. Links 21/9/2019: Plasma 5.17 Beta in Kubuntu, Cockpit 203

    Links for the day



  4. IBM Cannot Become a True Friend of Free Software Because of Its Current Patent Policy

    IBM needs to quit bullying people/companies with software patents; that would help towards appeasement of IBM critics and sceptics



  5. When Patent 'Professionals' Sound Like Children Who Learned to Parrot Some Intentionally-Misleading Buzzwords, Myths and Lies

    With buzzwords like "AI" and misleading terms like "IP" the litigation zealots are trying to convince themselves (and the public) that software is a physical thing and a "property" which needs "protecting" from "theft"; it doesn't seem to bother these people that copyright law already covers software<



  6. The European Parliament Needs to Become More Outspoken About EPO Abuses

    There are few encouraging signs in Europe right now because the EPO's disregard for patent law (striving to just grant as many patents as possible) earned it much-needed backlash from the European Parliament



  7. Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  8. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  9. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  10. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  11. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  12. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  13. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  14. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  15. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  16. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  17. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  18. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  19. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  20. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  21. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  22. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  23. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  24. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  25. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  26. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  27. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  28. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  29. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  30. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide


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