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07.07.11

Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier and Polish Presidency Named and Shamed for Patent Policy

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: The Polish Presidency needs to be pressured by Polish citizens in order for it not to support the plot of Michel Barnier, who might import software patents into Europe

“The patent microcosm wants software patents outside of the European Court of Justice,” alerts the president of the FFII, pointing to this new page which says:

The blog of the European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW) is interesting in many respects. For example it was the only place were, during Summer 2010, the opinion of the Advocates General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the incompatibility of the proposed European Patent Court System with European Treaty Law was leaked. Recently, it was also the first place where the “non paper” of the Commission services about proposed solutions for a Unified Patent Litigation System was published. But here we want to focus on a series of posts on this blog, an exchange of views between two prominent members of EPLAW. Beside the opportunity to benefit from the take of of professional legal analysts about the opinion of ECJ on the incompatibility of the envisaged unified patent litigation system with European Union (EU) Treaties, reviewing this series of posts helps to understand what kind of patent system the “patent microcosm” hopes for, and what kind of alternative is the deepest fear of its members. Finally, now that Commission and Council have discussed some options about a unified patent litigation system, we can weight influence of the patent microcosm on EU institutions.

“Software patents granted by the EPO will come back under the plans of the Community Patent or the EPLA,” quotes/claims the same person in relation to another document. Taking stock of this page, he implicitly argues that the east-European nations don’t stop advertising the abomination which is the “EU patent” (we saw more of that before, e.g. Czech Republic, even Sweden):

Polish Presidency will push for software patents through the backdoor

Over in France, Free software activists name and shame Barnier for his irresponsible acts (read what we wrote here, here, here, and here for context). See this new page from April, which says:

On March 10th 2011, the Commission and the Council of the European Union rejoiced in a press release about the decision taken in the morning by the Council, to authorize “an enhanced cooperation among Member States for the creation of a unitary patent title”. But these fine statements were shattered by the next press conference: questions from a couple of reporters regarding a decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union on the very same subject embarrassed, at the very least, Commissioner Barnier. The deciphering of this Council meeting gives us the opportunity to explain this complex but essential issue in the fight against software patents, in which April is engaged.

According to this new report, Amazon is not done trying to harm Europe with software patents, as we showed before. To quote The Register:

A payment system devised by online retail giant Amazon is too obvious to patent, the European Patent Office (EPO) has ruled.

Amazon had hoped to patent the way its customers pay for products through the click of a single webpage button. The company was previously granted patent rights to the payment system in the US.

An appeals board at the EPO ruled that the “one-click” method was too obvious as it relied on existing inventions, called “prior art” in patent law. Inventions must be new, take an inventive step that is not obvious and be useful to industry to qualify for patent protection.

The ruling backed the findings of a previous EPO examination into Amazon’s application.

Amazon pays Mirosoft for Linux. This happened after Amazon had hired many former Microsoft managers, to whom Amazon was just a next-door employer.

We must stay vigilant in light of these attempts to push software patents into Europe. The EU is a sort of bridge which can prevent the rest of the world from being polluted by USPTO-style patents.

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8 Comments

  1. BenderBendingRodriguez said,

    July 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Gravatar

    There is no point in pushing “Polish Presidency”, i am from Poland and all i can say that people governing our country are highly corruptible. Only recently have they made a national policy to communicate with the Government Offices and they introduced back proprietary formats from M$ back from ODF. In Poland, if you don’t know why then just follow the money. I am polish and am proud of it, but i am ashamed for my government and what they are doing to my country, i believe that as long as whole society is based on money there will always be corruption and there will always be people corruptible.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I did not really mean to single out one nation; in fact, I mention many European countries in this context and I try to urge citizens to vote accordingly or contract parliament members. Have you had a change to read about what Microsoft did in Poland for OOXML? Scroll down to “Poland” in this page.

    BenderBendingRodriguez Reply:

    I have no hard feeling that you said anything about Polish Presidency, in fact, i’d love for you to single out these corrupt polish bastards at the help of our country. If it were up to me i’d ban M$ and our whole polish government to an island with no people so they would not harm anyone. I’d say that at the time of “Polish Presidency” the chances to win for FOSS are smallest of all but hey, i might be wrong and i hope i am wrong.

    BenderBendingRodriguez Reply:

    [...]at the helm*[...]

    twitter Reply:

    Thanks for the great insight. Language barriers are a problem when confronting corruption on Microsoft’s scale. If you catch your government doing things they should not, could you drop Techrights links and translations in IRC? That would be very useful.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I was careful not to offend Poland as a whole (the government is not the people) as I have Polish friends and I know that they too laugh at their government’s corruptibility sometimes.

  2. pinguinpat said,

    July 8, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Gravatar

    Maybe a nice EU meeting to visit in Poland.
    http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/top_layer/single_market_forum_en.htm

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Seems like the cronies’ tour.

    “Organised jointly by the European Parliament, the Polish Government (holding the Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers in the second half of 2011) and the European Commission, this year’s Forum will be held in Krakow, Poland on 2-4 October. The European Commission will be represented by Michel Barnier (Commissioner for Internal Market and Services).”

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