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

06.14.13

As the Battle to Legitimise Software Patents in New Zealand and Europe Carries on, New Systemic Corruption Found

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

French politics
Image by Alain Fontaine

Summary: A roundup of stories from battlegrounds for software patents “as such”

Over the years we wrote quite a lot (relative to the size of the nation) about software patents in New Zealand, where patent lawyers have been fighting/waging their PR war against software developers; local lawyers fought alongside companies like IBM and Microsoft with their lobbyists (other lawyers). Some firm called “Shelston IP” continues this PR war (warping public perception) in Lexology by advancing the pro-software patents stance. To quote:

In? Out? Either way, talk of software patents has dominated discussion of the New Zealand Patents Bill for several years, causing unfortunate delay for a much needed update to New Zealand patent law. However, resolution may be on the horizon. Following fierce lobbying by many in the New Zealand IT sector, the Government has announced a new proposed amendment to the Bill, hailed by some as an effective end to software patents in New Zealand. The reality? Unsurprisingly perhaps, much less clear cut.

[...]

n the latest development, the Government has proposed a new replacement provision, which keeps a prohibition on patents for computer programs “as such”, but includes two further clarifying principles. Firstly, a claim in a patent (or application) relates to a computer program as such, if the actual contribution made by the alleged invention lies solely in it being a computer program. Secondly, a series of factors are set out, which must be taken into account in identifying the actual contribution made by the alleged invention. Therefore it is the nature of the “actual contribution” which the invention makes to the existing art which will be the touchstone for determining patentability. If such contribution arises solely from a computer program, it will not be patentable. If the contribution is judged to arise from another aspect of the invention, it will be patentable.

[...]

At a commercial level, the decision to take a significantly narrower path in New Zealand than in Australia, may have real implications for New Zealand software developers who find that software which does not infringe any New Zealand patents, may infringe Australian patents when marketed there. We may also find that over time, the much debated question of whether software patents stifle or encourage innovation, is answered by a geographical shift in the Australasian industry, one way or the other.

Factually (barring omissions) there is something to it, but it is biased for being too selective. The reality is, software patents were explicitly demoted in this island this year [1, 2, 3].

Microsoft-friendly companies like Centrify can carry on boasting their Microsoft-taxed products (Active Directory patents) and try to sell them in places where software patents are not legitimate, hoping the public will not recognise the injustice. This a FRAND-type loophole. See the TomTom case involving FAT patents in Europe, where the “as such” loophole still exists (albeit under fire). European patents may use FAT patent legitimisation in Germany (where some silly politicians still do their thing this week) although it is now a dubious patent.

Over in Germany right now, Jimmy Schulz is doing fine work to extinguish software patents and the FSFE has this update in English:

Tens of thousands of software patents in Germany and Europe present enormous cost and liability risks, especially for SMEs. Several German SME associations welcomed the Parliament’s decision. However they warn against giving all the responsibility to Brussels, as the EU has been consistently incapable of providing software developers with legal certainty. “Germany now has to implement this decision in law, to send a strong signal towards Brussels,” says Johannes Sommer of BIKT, one of the associations.

At an expert meeting in the Parliament on 13th May, in which FSFE also participated, industry associations BIKT and BITMi proposed changes to German copyright and patent law. These proposals would also affect software patents which have already been granted. The first proposal is to add a “protective shield” clause to German copyright law , introducing a blanket ban on the enforcement of patent claims with regard to software. The second proposal to be implemented in German patent law makes sure that the effect of patent claims shall not extend to works protected independently by copyright. Both proposals would prevent that patents on software can be enforced against software developers. The FSFE supports both proposals.

“Matthias Kirschner, of the free software federation said the move is an important step to fix the software patent insanity,”says one news site. Thom Holwerda covered that as well.

Recently, one route to legitimising software patents has been the unitary patent. Spain was blackmailed for the unitary patent and there was a lot of apparent corruption in the attempt to ruin policy against software patents in Europe

According to this curious update, the swindle goes round:

Action brought by Spain against the Regulation on the unitary patent calls the judiciary character of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO into question.

My letter to them hardly made a difference.

Based on this link from Gérald Sédrati-Dinet (April, source), the “#CJEU interpreting UPC shows that #EU has exclusive competence over #UPC (unitary patent court) which is then illegal”

There are other conflicts [FR, EN] revealing entryism of sorts. To quote, “don’t forget: presented by a senator @SenateurRYung who was a former director at EPO” (the EPO is corruptible).

Richard Yung is one of the politicians who come from the patent system, then doing the lobbying (we covered other examples. As put here, “to be sure, Senator Young is a former director of EPO”

“I predict that the Bundestag request against software patents will be ignored, and that they will vote for Unipat [unitary patent] instead”
      –Benjamin Henrion
Dan Gillmor incorrectly says here in The Guardian that software patents are in a state that they’re not in. He is corrected with the statement: “Europe is unfortunately far away from excluding Software Patents” (just not endorsing them). The FFII’s president, Benjamin Henrion, says: “I predict that the Bundestag request against software patents will be ignored, and that they will vote for Unipat [unitary patent] instead #backdoor”

When even companies that pretend to like FOSS are collecting software patents we remain stuck between large American corporations that spy on us and gain monopolies on algorithms. It is a sad state of affairs, but that’s just where we are.

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. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  2. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  3. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  4. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  6. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  7. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  8. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  9. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  10. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  12. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  13. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  14. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  15. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  16. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  17. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  18. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  19. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  20. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  21. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  22. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  23. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  24. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now



  25. Who's Obsessing Over Patent Trolls in Latest 'Reform' Efforts? Larger Patent Trolls Such as Xerox

    Response to claims that the patent problem is being tackled by focusing on patent trolls and their favourite courts in the Eastern District of Texas



  26. Links 20/8/2015: Fedora 24 Plans, Ubuntu Phones in India

    Links for the day



  27. Blackmail and Lies From the Press and the Government of New Zealand Attempt to Sell to the Public a Deal That Broadens Patent Scope

    Corporate conquest or takeover of New Zealand culminates in empty promises from government officials and blackmail against citizens of New Zealand, especially the country's dairy industry



  28. Vista 10 Turns PCs Into Zombies: Microsoft to Remotely Delete Software From Windows, Like Amazon Deleted Books From Kindle

    Microsoft allows itself to remotely delete software from Vista 10 (not just Microsoft's software), as revealed by the mainstream media not too long after the failed launch (poor adoption so far)



  29. Black Duck Still Destroying, Lying, Rewriting History

    Black Duck is still carrying water for Microsoft and pretends to be working for 'Open Source', despite doing it much harm and doing nothing that is actually Open Source



  30. Ashley Madison Disaster Apparently the Fault of Microsoft Windows

    New reports serve to show that Ashley Madison's data which got leaked includes complete dump of corporate Windows passwords


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