Microsoft Still Lobbies for Software Patents in Europe, Even by Pretending to be Small European Company/ies
Summary: A recent batch of activities providing a glimpse at Microsoft lobbying for the European patent and some other EPO lessons
THE European patent (or EU patent) was derailed, but one must not forget that Microsoft lobbied for it more aggressively than any other company we are aware of; and Microsoft is not even a European company. To address the uninitiated, Microsoft wants the European patent because of its impact on software patentability in Europe and using front groups Microsoft has been pressuring Europe to adopt the European patent. Notable among those front groups was ACT, which pretends to represent small businesses while the paychecks arrive from champion of “ethics” Microsoft Corporation. The president of the FFII writes:
Microsoft promoting software patents for SMEs
He points to this new page where Microsoft too lobbies ‘on behalf’ of small businesses for its very own interests as a monopolist. To quote the lie:
Small and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs – will be the powerhouse of the Innovation Union that the EU must become if we are to enjoy sustainable prosperity in the face of ever stronger global competition.
With our Innovation Union proposals on 6 October, the European Commission is calling for a concerted drive at European, national and regional levels towards three broad objectives.
As if that’s not shameless enough, there is some political corruption in Europe, courtesy of Microsoft, as usual. “Microsoft Poland officially confirmed as a partner of Polish EU Presidency,” writes Microsoft Europe (conveniently pretending to be a European company) and over the past 2 years we have shown that Microsoft paid other EU-based presidencies which it then used to promote software patents in Europe. It’s a form of bribery and all they really give is a bunch of lock-in. To quote this latest PR:
Together with Microsoft Poland General Manger Jacek Murawski, Brad joined Minister Dowgielewicz in signing a Partnership Agreement and Declaration of Co-operation, on the basis of which Microsoft will support the Polish EU Presidency with time limited lending of software (400 Office 2010 and 400 Windows 7 licenses) as well as with joint communication and promotional activities. Ministry and Microsoft representatives had also a chance to discuss the priorities of Polish Presidency, particularly as they concern the IT industry.
Techrights never forgot what Microsoft did in Poland to buy votes. The European Commission said it would investigate it, but it never really did, allegedly due to complexity. Meanwhile, shows the president of the FFII, “EPO nominating software patent holder 3DHistech and other companies for European Inventor Award 2011″ (no surprise here). He also shares this piece of news about US patent law turning out to be a curse to the United States (so pay attention, Europe/EPO). To quote: “It’s really stunning how the Chamber of Commerce can be so short-sighted. Its lobbying pressure hands foreign governments perfectly “legal” protectionist tools that they can use against the US companies the CoC is supposedly paid to represent. If I were a Chamber of Commerce member, I’d want my money back.”
It’s all about lobbying, it’s about special interests, and it’s about those in power ensuring that they stay in power. Whatever Microsoft says is good for Europe is exactly the opposite. To Apple’s credit, it never really participates in this type of abominable activities, unlike Microsoft. Sometimes it seems like Microsoft is a continent as its behaviour is definitely unique. █