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

09.06.10

European Court of Justice Advocates General Says Pan-EU Patent Court Would Violate the Principles of EU Founding Treaties

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 7:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European flags

Summary: An expansion on the words of those who deny access of software patents into Europe; an update on barriers to Microsoft’s RAND pushers (also software patents in the EU)

The subject of software patents in Europe is still a hot one because a centralised patent court may in fact enable significant changes to existing laws. Last month we wrote about the Advocates General rejecting an infamous patent court and this fine British site which offers legal analyses has more to say about that:

The European Court of Justice should reject the opinion of its advisors and put pragmatic economics ahead of legal technicalities and approve a pan-EU patent court, the UK patent attorneys’ trade body has said.

Advocates General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said in an opinion that the current proposal for a pan-European patent court violate the principles of some of the EU’s founding treaties.

But the Chartered Institute for Patent Attorneys (CIPA) has said that when making its final ruling the ECJ should make its decision in the light of the benefits such a court would bring to business.

This helps ensure that under the current scheme there will be too many barriers and laws may remain unchanged, at least for now. In particular, note-worthy is the interpretation that the current proposal would “violate the principles of some of the EU’s founding treaties.”

“Using lobbyists like Mr. Zuck, Microsoft has been pushing for the central court for several years.”That is exactly what some people/groups have been saying, at times also the FFII. For the Advocates General to suggest this is considerably important as it can be used as ammunition to shoot down future attempts of this kind.

Using lobbyists like Mr. Zuck, Microsoft has been pushing for the central court for several years. So far it has not been successful. Microsoft’s Zuck is also one of the RAND proponents which we mentioned last week (these include Microsoft Florian). Glyn Moody, a Brit, helps explain why RAND is both unreasonable and discriminatory. It works against software freedom.

There are two main options: Royalty Free (RF) and Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND). The former does what it says on the tin: it means that there is nothing to pay, and people are granted a licence so that they can simply use the technology that somebody claims they patented without further ado. FRAND is more subtle.

At first blush, Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory sounds great. After all, how could anyone argue with something that promises to be fair and reasonable? The trouble with a FRAND licence is that it can indeed by eminently reasonable and eminently non-discriminatory, but if it is non-zero – even if it is extremely small – it is useless for free software licences.

The problem is that even a tiny licence fee, if levied on a per-copy basis, is impossible for free software because of the way it is distributed. There is simply no way to know how many copies may be shared, and hence no way to collect all those eminently reasonable and non-discriminatory licence fees.

This means that any standard that adopts FRAND licensing automatically excludes free software; the corollary is that for a standard to be truly open – that is, open for all to use, not just those able to count and pay for copies – it must adopt royalty-free licensing (as the World Wide Web Consortium does).

There is nothing too new in the analysis above, but it’s an up-to-date overview for those who are not familiar with RAND and do not understand that the acronym is deceiving (like PATRIOT) in the sense that it means the very opposite of what it stands for.

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. Links 22/10/2019: Pacman 5.2, Shame of Disney+ DRM, Microsoft's DRM Scheme, Microsoft Reprimanded for Privacy Abuses

    Links for the day



  2. Patents Need to Exist Only to Pass Information Around and Keep Good Ideas Alive, Not to Feed Litigation Firms and Litigation 'Enthusiasts'

    The current situation or the status quo where legal professionals are advised not to even look at patents means that patents aren’t for “information” and “innovation” anymore; moreover, calling them “intellectual property rights” (or IPRs) is spreading a malicious lie



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 21, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 21, 2019



  4. SUEPO Protest Tomorrow. All EPO Staff in Munich Ought to Attend and Prepare to Strike Too.

    Tomorrow’s planned protest should be a bridge towards a full strike, which takes more time to plan for and get authorisation for (because of increasingly strict restrictions)



  5. Looking for Explanations About Samsung's DeX and Other FOSS Initiatives Being Canned

    DeX was primarily a threat to the desktop/laptop monopoly of Microsoft, so its sudden abandonment — without even an explanation — continues to attract speculations



  6. EPO Will Need a Lot More Than Photo Ops and Hoax 'Studies' to Restore the Perception of Lawfulness

    Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on European Patent Office (EPO) judges have tarnished any impression that the EPO serves justice and the current regime torpedoes an assessment of these attacks; EPO workers understand that to follow guidelines from the management may be a breach of the EPC



  7. Links 21/10/2019: More on DeX, Disney DRM and Linux 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  8. GNU/Linux is Bigger Than Ever (Used More Than Ever Before), But Communication Means and Brands Have Changed

    The GNU/Linux market is alive and healthy; it's how we measure its health that ought to adapt because things are constantly changing, more rapidly in the realm of technology than anywhere else



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 20, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 20, 2019



  10. Samsung Does Not Say Why It's Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

    It's not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform



  11. EPO: It's Only Getting Worse

    Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents



  12. It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

    Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)



  13. Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

    Links for the day



  14. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  15. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  16. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  17. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  18. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  20. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  21. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  22. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  23. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 18, 2019



  25. 26,000 Posts

    We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale.



  26. The Myth of 'Analysts'

    People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they're in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives



  27. The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

    Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation



  28. Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

    "There's a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn't produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever."



  29. Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

    Links for the day



  30. We Don't Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

    Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active


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