“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.
“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”
Summary: The EPO is still operating/behaving in a questionable manner; some updates about the SCO case
“No appeal of EPO decisions to the ECJ,” says the president of the FFII, not “even in the future system.”
He alleges that the “EPO [is] still operating in a vaccuum [sic]” and cites this new report:
Hearing of EU Court of Justice on EU Patent System did not Address Representation before Patents Court
In 2007, the European Commission presented different options regarding the creation of a unified patent litigation system in Europe [COM (2007) 165 final]. The following discussion in the Council Working Party on Intellectual Property based on various working documents presented by the Portuguese, Slovenian, French and Czech Presidencies, resulted in a first, preliminary Draft Agreement prepared by the Slovenian Presidency in May 2008 [Doc. 9124/08], which was then further elaborated and revised to yield the latest version of the Draft Agreement as proposed by the Czech Presidency on 23 March 2009 [Doc. 7928/09].
The situation with software patents in Europe is not made any better, especially after malevolent self-serving moves from Microsoft in Germany and from Siemens in Germany. It all matters in case Microsoft, for example, tries to prosecute Free software developers in Europe (like it did to TomTom).
The Microsoft-funded SCO has been harassing IBM for about 7 years using copyright law (but fined in Germany for slander). Here is some of the latest from Groklaw:
Here it is SCO’s brief [PDF] in opposition to Novell’s petition for a writ of certiorari filed with the US Supreme Court.
“IBM believes the Novell ruling effectively rejected all of SCO’s claims and effectively granted several of IBM’s counterclaims,” IBM tells the court in its Memorandum in Opposition to SCO’s recently filed motion asking for a status conference to discuss SCO going forward on four of its claims, while keeping IBM’s counterclaims stayed by the bankruptcy rules.
Software patents need to be kept out of Europe in order to prevent Microsoft from funding another SCO (or attacking directly). █
“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”
–Larry Goldfarb, BayStar, key investor in SCO approached by Microsoft