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

05.10.10

“Patent Law for Computer Scientists” Should be Named “Computer Science for Patent Lawyers”

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Francis Gurry from WIPO
Photo by dkpto @ Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Summary: A new book provides guidance on how to tax Europe’s software industry using patents; WIPO’s Director General (shown above) talks about patent harmonisation

A book called “Patent Law for Computer Scientists” has come out and lawyers from the UK reviewed this product. It gives tips on how to sneak software patents into the EPO:

Using the EPO-style interpretation of the word ‘for’, it seems to be also very suitable for European patent attorneys with an interest in the field of computer-implemented inventions, and particularly well suited for US attorneys who might like to think beyond the requirements of the US system when preparing their applications for being filed internationally.

More thoughts on the book:

It might well be that e.g. senior computer scientists who have prior experiences with the patent system due to their involvement in some earlier patent applications in which they were named as inventors will have a fair chance to gain additional insights from reading the book.

And, finally there might be another targeted group of potential readers: There are critics of the patent system in general and of the current EPO practice of granting patents on computer-implemented inventions out there who perhaps never have understood how exactly the practice of the EPO actually works in detail. Nobody expects them to be turned by 180 degrees after having read the book but their critics might get improved by being earthed in some deeper knowledge of the inner workings of the EPO.

The book’s title is “Patent Law for Computer Scientists,” but it seems more reasonable/suitable to call it “Computer Science for Patent Lawyers” because computer scientists generally dislike patent law; they already have copyrights, which don’t require patent lawyers (the “lawyer tax” or “patent tax”). Copyrights are very easy to decide on, whereas patents are too fuzzy to determine “infringement”, let alone to study (it’s easy to be sure you do not use someone else’s code but hard to know if someone out there applied for a patent on similar ideas, as opposed to implementation).

“I don’t think internationally yet because you can’t get it in Europe.”
      –Francis Gurry
Rui Seabra passes on the message that “Roughly a third of all applications and granted patents relate in one way or another to computers.” How much of a farce does this system want to be?

Software patents proponent, the Patent Watchtroll, has spoken to Francis Gurry, who is WIPO’s Director General (WIPO is based in Europe and it’s generally unfriendly to freedom). Patent Watchtroll is quoted by FFII’s president as saying that “software, IT area is where I personally do my work and with the length of time it takes to get a patent”; he also acknowledges: “Gurry also indulged me in a bit of speculation regarding software and the worldwide disagreement on whether software should be considered patentable subject matter.” Regarding the role of software patents in blocking the EU’s patent harmonisation (globally), Gurry is quoted as saying: “I don’t think internationally yet because you can’t get it in Europe.”

According to Wikipedia, Francis Gurry is a lawyer. No bias there? No conflict of interests?

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

2 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    May 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Tax software? Yes, software is so bad for my health and for the environment!!! Let’s discourage the growth of software.

    Actually, software efficiency is so useful to society that it seems foolish to tax it when you could instead let it evolve and then tax income or other things that result from the software’s use and the more efficient society.

    http://markproffitt.com/2010/04/20/details-of-abundance-based-intellectual-property-system/ Reward inventors while promoting the progress (ie, no patent monopolies).

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Software “tax” would be one thing; think of where the “tax” goes to (hint: monopolies and attorneys).

What Else is New


  1. The Fall of the UPC - Part XIV: Media Owned and Controlled by Law Firms Did Not Properly Cover the Decision of the German Constitutional Court (FCC)

    We take another look at the shallow if not deliberately misleading coverage in sites that are literally owned and run by law firms, for the benefit of law firms rather than informing the public



  2. The Media Paints Bill Gates as the Man Who Will Save the World While Seattle's Police Department Obstructs Access to Documents About Pedophilia Arrest at His Home

    We're still unable to receive even one single page of the police report about arrest for pedophilia at the home of Bill and Melinda Gates; the media says nothing about this and instead it paints Gates as a national or international hero



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, April 06, 2020



  4. Software Patents Remain Junk Patents in the United States (Not Enforceable), Whereas the EPO Keeps Granting Them and Promoting Them

    We take note of the positive outcomes in the US, where courts continue to reject software patents, but in Europe the largest patent office, which sought to replace all the courts, still acts as if patent law does not exist and patents can be endlessly printed irrespective of their merit (or validity as judged by actual courts)



  5. The Fall of the UPC - Part XIII: A Death Worth Celebrating and Many Lies Worth Debunking

    We take stock of positive responses to the decision made by the German constitutional court (FCC) 2.5 weeks ago; we also explain why it has taken so long to piece together firm-by-firm scoresheet for UPC lies



  6. GitHub is Moving the Free Software Movement Into “Check”

    GitHub's growing levels of control over Free software projects (GitHub itself is proprietary and Microsoft-controlled) ought to alarm the community; it's a lot worse than most people care to acknowledge, based on weeks of detailed analysis of GNU/Linux distros



  7. Links 6/4/2020: New Red Hat CEO, elementary OS Hera Updates

    Links for the day



  8. When the Decision is OK and the Judge's Motivations Are Also OK

    Justice Huber made the right call; but the bullies and charlatans who conspired to undermine laws and constitutions will never be satisfied



  9. The Fall of the UPC - Part XII: Doing the Unthinkable by Blaming the Judge's (Justice's) Wife?

    Team UPC and its media partners never cease to amaze us; anybody who stands in their way is either portrayed as a Russian stooge or too ignorant to be worth talking to



  10. The Fall of the UPC - Part XI: Lies Told by Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) in Süddeutsche Zeitung

    Today we look at misleading claims (or lies) published by Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Germans' constitutional court (FCC) had pointed out the obvious, namely that UPC ratification would be in violation of the German constitution



  11. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 05, 2020



  12. Links 5/4/2020: MindSpore, Covid-19 Projects and More

    Links for the day



  13. EPO is Just Like Some Cruel Political Party and Not a Patent Office

    The "cabal" which runs today's EPO (even the word "Mafia" seems suitable here) isn't acting -- not even remotely -- like a patent office; it's a patent-printing operation ("protection money" as income) that uses shallow political stunts to manufacture consent with the EU's 'generous' assistance



  14. Digitalisation and Digital Technologies as a Ploy to Justify Illegal Software Patents

    Say "hello" to the next weasel word/s; from the "hey hi" hype wave we've now moved to something "digital" (which can mean just about anything, including algorithms of all sorts)



  15. The Fall of the UPC - Part X: How We Shall Catalogue UPC Lies

    The cult that Team UPC became (one member lying to another member, maintaining a false version of reality) will be judged based on underlying facts, not lying about facts; we start with a token of contempt for IP Kat and Bristows LLP (there are overlaps)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 04, 2020



  17. Major Revelation: Microsoft Blackmail Against LAMP (GNU/Linux and Free Stacks for Servers) Goes At Least 16 Years Back, Predating the Novell Patent Deal

    (Techno-)Anthropological analyses of Microsoft's patent war on Free/libre software must take into account what Microsoft did to MySQL, a Swedish company at the time



  18. Links 4/4/2020: Sparky 5.11, Firefox 74.0.1, POCL 1.5

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, April 03, 2020



  20. Links 3/4/2020: Ubuntu Beta, GNOME 3.36.1, ExTiX LXQt Mini, NetBSD 8.2 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Digital Communication, Digitalisation and Videogaming Among the EPO's Latest Smokescreens for Illegal and Abstract Patents on Algorithms

    The EPO keeps liaising with the EU to promote patents which EU officials have themselves said were illegal; to make matters worse, the EPO's violations of its own laws inspire the United States to do the same



  22. Emotional Blackmail for Illegal Software Patents

    Semantic tactics the European Patent Office (EPO) uses to promote software patents in Europe and may theoretically use in the future (satire)



  23. Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

    The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either



  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 02, 2020



  25. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  26. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  27. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  29. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  30. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day


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