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

08.23.11

Europe Under Threat From Software Patents Through the Back Door, Warns FSF Founder

Posted in Apple, Europe, Patents, Samsung at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stallman lectures

Summary: Richard Stallman further validates the FFII’s warning that Europe is besieged by the same forces who sought to legalise software patents in the whole EU just over half a decade ago

LAST year we warned that Amazon was trying to flush its software patents down the EPO's throat. Benjamin Henrion warns that “Amazon one-click patentable in Europe, EPO says add a computer and it will become patentable,” based on this blog post:

Amazon’s so called “One-Click Patent” is one of the most controversially discussed software inventions ever. The term, which nowadays is used as a cipher for a prototypical business method patent, was originally coined for US 5,960,411 titled “method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network” (filed 12 Sep 2007, granted 28 Sep 1999; pdf), which has been enforced against competitor Barnes & Noble and licensed to Apple.

The respective teaching enables easy Internet shopping in that a customer visits a website, enters address and payment information and is associated with an identifier stored in a “cookie” in his client computer. A server is then able to recognize the client by the cookie and to retrieve purchasing information related to the customer, who thus can buy an item with a “single click”.

Europe is in a limbo and even hours ago people complained about it:

Read this patent GRANTED in Europe t.co/aaGAtfa then read this t.co/BxK8stq for more crappy #swpats

Richard Stallman has emerged from his more political commentary and contributed this article which warns about the “unitary patent” — the latest among many euphemisms used to silently push a pro-software patents agenda. To quote Stallman:

Just as the US software industry is experiencing the long-anticipated all-out software patent wars, the European Union has a plan to follow the same course. When the Hargreaves report urged the UK to avoid software patents, the UK government had already approved a plan that is likely to impose them.

Software patents are dangerous to software developers because they impose monopolies on software ideas. It is not feasible or safe to develop non-trivial software if you must thread a maze of patents. (See Patent absurdity, Guardian, 20 June 2005.)

Every program combines many ideas; a large program implements thousands of them. Google recently estimated there might be 250,000 patented ideas in a smartphone. I find that figure plausible, because in 2004 I estimated that the GNU/Linux operating system implemented around 100,000 actually patented ideas. (Linux, the kernel, had been found by Dan Ravicher to contain 283 such ideas, and was estimated to be 25% of the whole system at the time.)

[...]

The volunteer activists drifted away, thinking the battle won, but the corporate lobbyists for software patents were paid to stay on the job. Now they have contrived another sneaky method: the “unitary patent” system proposed for the EU. Under this system, if the European Patent Office issues a patent, it will automatically be valid in every participating country, which in this case means all of the EU except for Spain and Italy.

European patent lawyers are obviously unhappy about Stallman’s article. As Stallman warns about lobbying those aim is to get software patents approved in Europe, European patent lawyers label his allegation a “conspiracy theory” — a term whose usage we explained before.

This cheapening of Stallman’s views (which reached a lot of people through The Guardian, plus the “Slashdot effect”) actually comes from the group which is typically polite, German patent people like Falk Metzler (here is his latest agenda-pushing) and Axel H. Horns, who gets into an argument (after calling Stallman’s argument “conspiracy theory) with the FFII. He, along with pro-Microsoft lobbyist (Florian Müller), writes pro-software patents rhetoric and adds in relation to the “unitary patent” that:

On July 10, 2010, I had reported on the planned Organisation of work on the patent reform under the Polish Presidency. Now, as we still are within the summer recess period where nothing appears to move forward there might be a little stretch of time to contemplate as to how things might move on during next fall.

There is a recent precedent of successful adoption of enhanced co-operation in the EU: As we can learn from Wikipedia, with the rise in cross border divorce in the EU, common rules were put forward to settle the issue of where trans-national couples can divorce in the EU. However Sweden was blocking the new rules, fearing the loss of its liberal divorce law (divorce law differs strongly, with Nordic liberalism being in contrast to more conservative countries such as Malta which – until recently – did not even allow it). In order to allow those willing states to proceed without Sweden, in July 2008 nine countries put forward a proposal to use enhanced co-operation. At a meeting of the justice ministers on July 25, 2008, the nine states decided to formally seek the measure of enhanced cooperation; eight states formally requested it from the European Commission on 28 July 2008.

This is an interesting analysis (the author is typically informative), but why potray a so-called ‘unity’ patent as a good thing like peace-making? It’s not. All it does is, it increases damages in European industries and raises the frequency/impact of litigation, which helps the likes of the author, not real producers.

To give a very recent example of the toxic effects of US monopolies inside Europe, consider the Apple embargogate [1, 2, 3] , which fortunately turned out to be just an Apple scam that ended badly for Apple. To quote:

Apple faces a turnover of the Samsung injunction and iPad 3 may be delayed with screen supply problems

It was a black Wednesday for Apple. Samsung managed to overturn the European Union ban on sales of its flagship tablet, an action prosecuted by Apple, and the iPad 3 launch was “put back” because of technical problems.

Added to the news that if Google’s bid for Motorola Mobile goes through, Apple will lose some of its patents litigation power because of its reliance on Motorola technologies, it is probably not a good time to be in the Cupertino company’s boardroom.

Here is more about Apple lying to the court using fake 'evidence' to impose an EU-wise embargo of Linux-based products from Samsung. It is theorised that Samsung might buy WebOS from HP, but based on hirings, Samsung will stay with Android/Bada and distribute that without qualm all around Europe, although quite likely with a Microsoft tax. Samsung is one of the top patentors in Europe.

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. 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



  2. New EPO Meme: Who Wants to Make Billions From a 'Public' Monopoly?

    What was supposed to be a cash-balanced patent office became a money-making monster that fakes ‘crises’ to attack hard-working examiners



  3. EmacsConf Without Richard Stallman

    Now that emacs is being 'rebranded' this kind of meme seems apt



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 17, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 17, 2019



  5. Guest Article: In the Absence of Richard Stallman OEM Source Software ('Open Source') is Trying to Hijack Even Emacs

    "Now they have to create some fictional history. No need to worry."



  6. Guest Article: Techies Should Not Dictate the Free Software Movement

    "We should start a second phase of the Free software movement that's making good software and putting users at the center."



  7. Links 17/10/2019: Ubuntu Turns 15, New Codename Revealed, Ubuntu 19.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  8. Free as in Free Speech (Restrictions May Apply)

    When limits of speech are not safety-related rules but political correctness or conformism



  9. There Won't be Patent Justice Until Patent Trolling Becomes Completely and Totally Extinct

    SLAPP-like behaviour and extortion/blackmail tactics using patent monopolies are a stain on the patent system; it's time to adopt measures to stop these things once and for all, bearing in mind they're inherently antithetical to the goal/s of the patent system and therefore discourage public support for this whole system



  10. EPO Staff Union and Staff Representatives Ought to Demand EPO Stops Bullying Publishers and Censoring Their Sites

    An often neglected if not forgotten aspect of EPO tyranny is the war on information itself; EPO management continues to show hostility towards journalism and disdain for true information



  11. Bribes, Lies, Fundamental Violations of the Law and Cover-Up: This is Today's European Patent Office

    It has gotten extremely difficult to hold the conspirators accountable for turning Europe’s patent office into a ‘printing machine’ of the litigation industry and amassing vast amounts of money (to be passed to private, for-profit companies)



  12. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Lost Almost Half (3 Out of 8) Board Members in Only One Month

    As the old saying goes, a picture (or screenshot) is worth a thousand words



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 16, 2019



  14. Startpage and System1 Abuse Your Privacy Under the Guise of 'Privacy One Group'

    Startpage has sold out and may have also sold data it retained about its users to a privacy-hostile company whose entire business model is surveillance



  15. Links 16/10/2019: Halo Privacy, Ubuntu Release Imminent

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 15, 2019



  17. No, Microsoft is Not an 'Open Source Company' But a Lying Company

    The world’s biggest proprietary software companies want to be seen as “open”; what else is new?



  18. Meme: Setting the Record Straight

    Stallman never defended Epstein. He had called him “Serial Rapist”. It’s Bill Gates who defended Epstein and possibly participated in the same acts.



  19. EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

    “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”



  20. Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft's Real Leadership and Abuses

    "I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized."



  21. Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

    Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO



  22. Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

    "For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same."



  23. FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

    The FSF gave orders to silence people



  24. Links 16/10/2019: Plasma 5.17.0, Project Trident Moves to GNU/Linux, NuTyX 11.2

    Links for the day



  25. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  26. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  27. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  28. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  29. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  30. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over


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