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

09.01.11

FFII Approached for Opinion on Ill Approach Towards Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: While the patent wars in the United States go out of control, the Swedish Justice Department asks patenting sceptics for some input

THE PATENT bubble is building up in China and in the States. It’s an endless race to amass patents, no matter their quality and thus their validity. Once those patents are brought into the courtroom they receive a pricey reexamination, but only if the defendant can afford it (see the reexamination of Oracle’s patents and the patents of the patent troll who co-founded Microsoft). It is a very silly system where prior art can help invalidate patents that should never have existed in the first place; failing that, triviality tests have proven to be effective at eliminating a lot of patents, including software patents. Why are rubbish patents allowed in the first place? Because the USPTO profits from that. It’s a vanity thing, too.

While all sorts of ‘meta-firms’ (not producers) try to establish a business around the laughing stock called the USPTO, others go further and turn into patent trolls, looking to mooch those who have more money.

Bosson from the FFIIThere is no denying that the US patent system is broken and every day last month we saw at least a couple of articles on the subject. The status quo cannot stand. Nobody supports this system except the monopolists (a tiny minority) and the patent lawyers whom they use like mercenaries.

The founder of the FSF recently warned about a similarly broken system trying to find its way into Europe. Well, the Swedish Justice Department (where the presidency has been instrumental in pushing for the “unitary patent” for years, also based on leaked diplomatic cables) contacted the FFII, which is a good sign. Their consultation with software patents opponents resulted in the public communication shared this morning by Bosson. To quote:

The Swedish Association for a Free Information Infrastructure, FFII, has interest in innovation and growth in software. We are therefore pleased to be consulted on a new patent court.

We are enthusiastic that the European patent system gets more efficient and integrated, but critical to the possibility of the patent court as final instance. For software, it is about the right balance between patent, copyright, access to and ability to manage information. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held back the U.S. Federal Patent Court in matters of what may be patented. We believe that a general appeals instance would make a more balanced assessment. Today, there are great risks for developers as abstract and theoretical methods are patented despite the boundaries of the European Patent Convention.

Economic research shows that many patents, especially in software, stifle innovation and
growth (1). A more balanced and independent assessment than the union’s own patents are needed to clarify limits (2), reduce costs and provide the individual patents more value.

1 A Generation of Software Patents, Bessen, Boston University

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1868979

2. Yttrande i betänkandet ”Patent och innovationer för tillväxt och välfärd” SOU 2006:80

http://www.ffii.se/jonas/sou2006-80/FFII-yttrande.html

We wrote about the Bessen study right after it had been published. Bosson chose Bessen as a primary reference.

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. Michael said,

    September 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Gravatar

    First: as someone who is clearly critical of much of your writing, I largely agree with what you say above. The patent system is heavily broken… right now the only way to “win” the game is to play – and playing costs companies a lot of money, in many cases millions of dollars and in some cases billions of dollars. It is simply outrageous.

    You do say:

         Nobody supports this system except the monopolists …

    Presumably you include Microsoft in this. And yet, today, you have another article where you talk about how what you call pro-Microsoft sources are *also* speaking out against the patent system.

    What evidence do you have that any of the companies who are stuck playing these games really like them? Any? Seems it is hurting everyone.

What Else is New


  1. Links 18/1/2019: Mesa 18.3.2, Rust 1.32.0

    Links for the day



  2. Links 17/1/2019: ZFS Debate Returns, AWS Pains Free Software

    Links for the day



  3. US Patent Lawyers Will Need to Change Profession or End up Becoming Abundantly Redundant, Unemployed

    In the age of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) and 35 U.S.C. § 101 it’s too risky to sue with dodgy patents; moreover, the Federal Circuit‘s growing adoption of Alice means that no recent cases have given hope to patent maximalists and litigation frequency has fallen again (at double-digit rates)



  4. Links 16/1/2019: Deepin 15.9 Released and Mozilla Fenix

    Links for the day



  5. Brexit Has Failed, But So Has the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Even though all signs indicate that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will never become a reality spin is to be expected from Team UPC, still looking to profit from more litigation and expanded scope



  6. IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

    Even days apart/within confirmation of IBM's takeover of Red Hat IBM makes it clear that it's very strongly in favour of software patents, not only in the US but also in Europe



  7. Team UPC on Dead UPC: Choosing Gowns for Corpses

    The campaign of lies, long waged by Team UPC in order to manipulate politicians and courts, hasn’t stopped even in 2019 (IAM threw in the towel, but some of Team UPC is still ‘embalming’ UPCA)



  8. Links 15/1/2019: MX Linux MX-18 Continuum Reviewed, Mageia 7 Artwork Voting

    Links for the day



  9. Council of Europe (CoE) Recognises There's No Justice at the EPO

    It’s now the Council of Europe‘s turn to speak out about the grave state of international organisations that exist in Europe but aren’t subjected to European law (which they routinely violate with impunity)



  10. Dominion Harbor -- Armed by Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll -- Goes After the World's Biggest Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung

    Dominion Harbor, the patent troll that gets bucketloads of patents from Intellectual Ventures (a patent troll strongly connected to Microsoft and Bill Gates), is still suing using shell entities



  11. Links 14/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC2 and DXVK 0.95 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Only the Higher Courts -- Not Trump's 'Poster Child' -- Can Bring Back Software Patents

    Software patents are not making a "comeback" as some like to claim; in fact, the latest court cases and notably their outcomes suggest that nothing has changed



  13. “Uniloc is a Lawsuit Factory”

    Apple is a very secretive company, so it is hard to know what goes on with the patent troll Uniloc



  14. European Patent Office a Textbook Example of Lawless, Rogue Institutions

    The tyrannical nature of the EPO is still being demonstrated by the sad fate of Patrick Corcoran; technical judges at the EPO are feeling intimidated by nontechnical politicians and bankers



  15. No, Software Patents Are Not Poised to Make a Comeback Under New US Patent Office Rules

    Poor understanding of the difference between patent courts and patent offices is to blame for widely-spread misinformation from Ars Technica (part of Condé Nast)



  16. IP Kat Has Turned From EPO Critic (to the Point of Being Blocked by the EPO) to EPO Whitewasher That Gags EPO Whistleblowers

    The EPO tried to forcibly gag (block) IP Kat like it blocks Techrights (since 2014); failing that, the EPO got the blog to just act as a whitewashing operation for Team Campinos (more or less the same as Team Battistelli)



  17. Linspire 'Reborn' is Still Working for Microsoft and Facilitating Surveillance on GNU/Linux Users

    GNU/Linux spyware scandals may be back (and it's not about Canonical and Amazon but Linspire and Microsoft); Microsoft is meanwhile exposing innocent kids to pedophiles and it refuses to explain or defend this



  18. Links 12/1/2019: Wine 4.0 RC6, X-Plane 11.30, SuperTuxKart 0.10 Beta, LibreOffice 6.2 RC2

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Low Patent Quality Can Kill the European Software Industry and Kill People Too

    The patents granted by the EPO are often invalid as per courts' decisions, which means that fake/illegitimate European Patents saturate the market and discourage development (e.g. of software and life-saving drugs)



  20. The Fiction That Spain (or Italy) Can Salvage the UPC

    The proponents/lobbyists of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), firms that make money from patent litigation (we collectively call these "Team UPC"), are nowadays backpedaling, having come to grips with the death of the UPC, realising it's time to save face by pretending everything they said in the past wasn't a lie



  21. Links 11/1/2019: IBM-Red Hat Obstacle Cleared, Toyota Chooses Linux

    Links for the day



  22. EPO President “Campinos is Wasting His Credibility With “Sweet” Communiqués Full of Hot Air and Storytelling”

    EPO insiders insist if not demand that all those responsible for the corruption and the abuses be removed; Campinos has done the opposite by promoting those who caused harm and turning his overseer into his subordinate



  23. The Emptiness of the Linux Foundation's Commitment to Linux and Its True Openness... to Corporate Cash (in Exchange for Influence)

    Like Pence and Moreno, who exchange a political refugee for loans, the Linux Foundation abandons its commitment to GNU/Linux in exchange for maximisation of financial contributions



  24. Links 10/1/2019: Linux 4.20.1, GNOME 3.31.4 Released

    Links for the day



  25. Links 9/1/2019: Qubes OS 4.0.1, Bash 5.0

    Links for the day



  26. European Patent Office Saga in 2019: “95% of the People Responsible for the Misery Are Still in Place and Have Not Even Been Rebuked”

    No signs of reformation at Europe's second-largest institution, which still suffers from justice deficit and blatant corruption



  27. Links 8/1/2019: Godot 3.1 Reaches Beta, Tidelift Gets Money

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Corruption is Helping Patent Maximalists in the United States

    The law firms that promote abstract patents in the United States (in the face of growing opposition from courts) adopt the EPO as a sort of 'poster child' because quality of European Patents keeps decreasing and lawlessness is increasing



  29. Links 7/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC1

    Links for the day



  30. Words to Avoid: Cloud, Serverless, Microservices and More

    The marketing industry is hijacking press coverage and journalism has turned into a laughable mash-up of buzzwords; technical people ought to push back


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