09.11.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

European Patent Law is Being Abducted by Big Business and Patent Lawyers

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Car vandalism

Summary: Europe may lose its advantage (for software developers) if it loses its sovereignty to hostile interest groups which strive to loot the continent using lawsuits

SLASHDOT has this interesting new entry citing some American press [1, 2] and quoting Foxconn’s founder as saying: “I worry America has too many lawyers. I don’t want to spend time having people sue me every day.”

Richard Stallman had the foresight to tell Europe that by rejecting software patents it will position itself favourably. European developers who don’t work for multinationals such as Microsoft (money talks) understand this because it takes very fundamental logic to grasp. Europe can leave US-based companies to fight among themselves, whereas Europe will serve as somewhat of a haven sheltering innovative minds that make good software. Nothing good ever comes out of lawsuits over software patents.

“Nothing good ever comes out of lawsuits over software patents.”The FFII suspects that there is a “power struggle between Council and Commission” in Europe, involving Jose Manuel Barroso of course. Obligatory attendance does not sound quite right. We have already explained how the Commission in Brussels did more harm than good sometimes, at least regarding software patents.

The Belgian EU presidency (lobbied by Microsoft’s pressure group Association for Competitive Technology) seems to have a hand in the problems. As Axel H. Horns put it:

In an earlier posting I had reported that, on the first day of the Belgian EU Presidency, the EU Commission had published a Proposal for a Council Regulation (EU) on the translation arrangements for the European Union patent. This Document suggests to require human quality translations of EU patents only in case of a dispute. Otherwise, machine translations are deemed to be sufficient for informing the general public.

This is just shameful. Whose hands are in it? It gets even worse. “Usually patent offices set the agenda, not business,” wrote the FFII, citing the IAM crowd, which is a subscribers-only platform (lawyers’ echo chamber).

This system is seemingly being hijacked by those who want to exploit it for personal profitability. The patent system is supposed to be focused on other goals, but it is being changed while it's self-deluded.

Last week we showed the Advocates General saying that the current pan-European patent court proposal would violate the principles of some of the EU’s founding treaties. It’s still a struggle between business and between public servants who are sometimes elected by the public. The Register has the following take from UK patent attorneys:

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 violates 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.

That’s just appalling. Since when are lawyers (not elected officials with a legal background) determining the laws such that they increase their own profits? This is just cronyism. Lawyers are a big part of the problem here. Greed is an enemy of research and development.

In other news, WIPO transparency is said to be “threatened”. Was there ever transparency at all?

WIPO held its annual Program and Budget Committee meeting last week. The Committee discussed ways that it might better make its meetings and documents available in multiple languages. WIPO operates in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, and also Portuguese under specific conditions.

WIPO is designed to help oppressors maintain their power. It markets itself as defender of “innovation” rather than defender of gatekeepers. It was never particularly receptive to the needs of developing nations, much like the WTO. The world needs less regulation of this kind because it impedes the sharing that’s crucial for science to thrive everywhere.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 08, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 08, 2023



  2. Microsoft Thought Police

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  3. Links 08/02/2023: GNOME Smoother Scrolling of Text Views

    Links for the day



  4. Links 08/02/2023: Transmission 4.0.0 Released and Mass Layoffs at Zoom

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 07, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 07, 2023



  6. When the Pension Vanishes

    Today we commenced a multi-part mini-series about pensions and what happens when they suddenly vanish and nobody is willing to explain where all the money went



  7. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: An Introduction

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series continues in the form of a mini-series about pensions; it’s part of an ongoing investigation of a deep mystery that impacts people who left the company quite a long time ago and some of the lessons herein are applicable to any worker with a pension (at times of financial uncertainties)



  8. Links 07/02/2023: Endless OS 5.0 and Voice.AI GPL Violations

    Links for the day



  9. No Doubt Microsoft Unleashed Another 'Tay', Spreading Bigotry Under the Guise of Hey Hi (AI)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  10. Links 07/02/2023: Fedora 39 Development Plans Outlines

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 06, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, February 06, 2023



  12. Links 06/02/2023: Escuelas Linux 8.0 and Many Political Issues

    Links for the day



  13. Links 06/02/2023: Sparky 6.6 and IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 173

    Links for the day



  14. Taking Back Control or Seizing Autonomy Over the News Cycle (Informing People, Culling the Marketing)





  15. Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC 'Churnalists'

    The "official" sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated "media" that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe's largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they're being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)



  16. Links 06/02/2023: Linux 6.2 RC7 and Fatal Earthquake

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 05, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 05, 2023



  18. Links 05/02/2023: Wayland in Bookworm and xvidtune 1.0.4

    Links for the day



  19. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  21. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  22. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  23. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  24. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  25. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  26. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  29. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  30. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    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