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

03.16.11

Triumph Against Software Patents in Europe as EU Treaty Brought Up

Posted in America, Antitrust, Europe, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Face with question marks

Summary: Catchup post on the subject of software patents, led by good news from Europe and plans to hamper patent trolls in the US

The European Court of Justice Advocates General said last year that a pan-EU patent court would violate the principles of the EU founding treaties and it turns out that he was right. Having struggled to keep software patents out of Europe, we are pleased to find out that, as a UK-based lawyers’ blog puts it, it’s “bad news for unified European patent litigators” (which means it’s wonderful for everybody else):

Bad news for unified European patent litigators — in Avis 1/09 Creation of a unified patent litigation system the Court of Justice of the European Union has given its verdict on the proposed Unified Patent Litigation System (UPLS) and the European and Community Patents Court (‘the PC’). Following an 89 paragraph ruling it says:

“The envisaged agreement creating a unified patent litigation system (currently called ‘European and Community Patents Court’) is not compatible with the provisions of the EU Treaty and the FEU Treaty”.

Glyn Moody adds that “another #swpats [software patents] by the backdoor attempt blocked” (and the parasites will carry on trying).

Over in Germany, there is quiet celebration among the likes of André Rebentisch and Karsten Gerloff from the FFII and FSFE, respectively. On the other hand, Microsoft booster Florian the mobbyist is daemonising Red Hat again (using old news) and saying utter nonsense, as Rebentisch helps expose:

Priceless:

Florian “Mueller also noted that a less costly European patent system would also help open-source developers and companies to obtain and, if necessary, enforce patents on a Europe-wide scale. He also suggested that at some point the EU will want to have a “unified patent system, including a single patent court”.”

Florian turns out to be the next Benoît. Hardly surprising his most recent “change of mind”.

It is not clear why David Meyer plugged in claims from a known liar. These claims are lunacy, a bit like the recent claims that open source is a “cartel”. Anyway, leaving aside aggravators like Florian, FFII founder Hartmut Pilch weighed in as well. Almost nobody in Germany would ever benefit from software patents, no matter how loudly mobbyists speak out and how many journalists they mass-mail to ‘inject’ disinformation on behalf of corporate clients.

APRIL, a Free software advocacy group in France, has a strongly-worded announcement about this major development and there are many articles on the matter including some in German. “ECJ says that Commission proposal for unitary EU #patent is incompatible with EU treaties” is how Gerloff summarises it.

The FSF’s Bradley Kuhn addresses the problem with Novell’s Mono trap when he writes that “#Tomboy is part of !GNOME desktop, so #Microsoft #swpats attack could impact. Glad to learn dependency won’t increase”

The OSI’s Simon Phipps speaks about Novell’s atrocious deal with Microsoft, wherein a patent transfer is being arranged. To quote the new article:

When we consider software patents, it’s easy to believe they are something outside the open source communities. Mentally, many of us model them as a weapon belonging to “patent trolls” – companies who don’t make products in the area of the patents they own (they may have other business interests they are funding) but instead create their income by shaking down businesses who unwittingly stray into their patent minefields.

But I suggest that many of the patents these “non-practicising entities” (as they are known to lawyers) use actually come directly from the development of software and potentially open source software. They start life in “friendly” hands, but there’s every chance they will eventually be used in harmful ways. Just look at the proposed sale of Novell’s patent portfolio to CPTN to get the idea how. Right now the US Department of Justice seems to agree it’s a problem and may even intervene in the sale.
Parallel Filing

In the corporations where I have worked, programmers have been incented along with other engineers to constantly watch their work for ideas that could be encapsulated in a patent. This “parallel filing” – developers doing work and filing patents on their innovations at the same time – results in the creation of a ring-fence around each activity in which the engineers participate.

CPTN may end up just dying if the deal gets blocked by the US DOJ or anti-cartel authorities. And guess who’s getting sued again? That would be Google. The plaintiff stays mum: “In a brief response, the company tells me that they will not comment on either this case or the complaint they’ve just filed against Google, revealing that the search giant is effectively already under legal attack by the software maker.” Obama plans fundamental rethink of software patents, but it won’t be enough. In fact, it’s more like lip service based on what we’ve seen all along (even before Obama took office). Also see “FTC recommends patent reform”; “US FTC report recommends improvements in patent system”; “FTC Targets Patent Trolls”; “FTC Puts Patent Trolls On Notice” and “US patent law change to protect innovators”. It’s likely that nothing will change in the US because once bad laws are passed, it is extremely hard to reverse/retract them. Other news about software patents which we lack time to cover are added below.

- A Practical Rant about Software Patents
- Why are a paltry number of patents registered in Africa?
- Patent trolls fatten up on vaguely worded patents
- Apple And PayPal Hit With Lawsuit Over Patent For ‘One-Click’

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

A Single Comment

  1. Jose_X said,

    March 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Muller should have added that cutting red tape to the process of acquiring nuclear armaments would also make it easier for FOSS to acquire nukes and use them to protect the software.

What Else is New


  1. Links 23/3/2019: Falkon 3.1.0 and Tails 3.13.1

    Links for the day



  2. The Unified Patent Court is Dead, But Doubts Remain Over the EPO's Appeal Boards' Ability to Rule Independently Against Patents on Nature and Code

    Patents used to cover physical inventions (such as engines); nowadays this just isn't the case anymore and judges who can clarify these questions lack the freedom to think outside the box (and disobey patent maximalists' dogma)



  3. Patent Law Firms Still Desperate to Find New Ways to Resurrect Dead Software Patents in the United States

    There's no rebound and no profound changes that favour software patents; in fact, judging by caselaw, there's nothing even remotely like that



  4. Links 22/3/2019: Libinput 1.13 RC2 and Facebook's Latest Security Scandal

    Links for the day



  5. Why the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) Cannot Ignore Judges, Whereas the EPO Can (and Does)

    The European Patent Convention (EPC) ceased to matter, judges' interpretation of it no longer matters either; the EPO exploits this to grant hundreds of thousands of dodgy software patents, then trumpet "growth"



  6. The European Patent Office Needs to Put Lives Before Profits

    Patents that pertain to health have always posed an ethical dilemma; the EPO apparently tackled this dilemma by altogether ignoring the rights and needs of patients (in favour of large corporations that benefit financially from poor people's mortality)



  7. “Criminal Organisation”

    Brazil's ex-President, Temer, is arrested (like other former presidents of Brazil); will the EPO's ex-President Battistelli ever be arrested (now that he lacks diplomatic immunity and hides at CEIPI)?



  8. Links 21/3/2019: Wayland 1.17.0, Samba 4.10.0, OpenShot 2.4.4 and Zorin Beta

    Links for the day



  9. Team UPC (Unitary Patent) is a Headless Chicken

    Team UPC's propaganda about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has become so ridiculous that the pertinent firms do not wish to be identified



  10. António Campinos Makes Up Claims About Patent Quality, Only to be Rebutted by Examiners, Union (Anyone But the 'Puff Pieces' Industry)

    Battistelli's propagandistic style and self-serving 'studies' carry on; the notion of patent quality has been totally discarded and is nowadays lied about as facts get 'manufactured', then disseminated internally and externally



  11. Links 20/3/2019: Google Announces ‘Stadia’, Tails 3.13

    Links for the day



  12. CEN and CENELEC Agreement With the EPO Shows That It's Definitely the European Commission's 'Department'

    With headlines such as “EPO to collaborate on raising SEP awareness” it is clear to see that the Office lacks impartiality and the European Commission cannot pretend that the EPO is “dafür bin ich nicht zuständig” or “da kenne ich mich nicht aus”



  13. Decisions Made Inside the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Lack Credibility Because Examiners and Judges Lack Independence

    The lawless, merciless, Mafia-like culture left by Battistelli continues to haunt judges and examiners; how can one ever trust the Office (or the Organisation at large) to deliver true justice in adherence or compliance with the EPC?



  14. Team UPC Buries Its Credibility Deeper in the Grave

    The three Frenchmen at the top do not mention the UPC anymore; but those who promote it for a living (because they gambled on leveraging it for litigation galore) aren't giving up and in the process they perpetuate falsehoods



  15. The EPO Has Sadly Taken a Side and It's the Patent Trolls' Side

    Abandoning the whole rationale behind patents, the Office now led for almost a year by António Campinos prioritises neither science nor technology; it's all about granting as many patents (European monopolies) as possible for legal activity (applications, litigation and so on)



  16. Where the USPTO Stands on the Subject of Abstract Software Patents

    Not much is changing as we approach Easter and software patents are still fool's gold in the United States, no matter if they get granted or not



  17. Links 19/3/2019: Jetson/JetBot, Linux 5.0.3, Kodi Foundation Joins The Linux Foundation, and Firefox 66

    Links for the day



  18. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  20. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  21. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  22. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  23. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  24. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  25. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  26. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  27. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  28. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  29. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  30. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts