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01.31.16

Richard Stallman: European Software Patents Are Back With the Unitary Patent Court (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RMS in FOSDEM
Image credit: Benjamin Henrion at FOSDEM

Summary: Debates over the UPC are being fought between software professionals (practicing entities) and parasitic elements such as patent lawyers

THE EPO often issues patents on software, despite the ban on software patents in Europe. According to Benjamin Henrion’s tweet this morning, the father of Free software, Richard Stallman, said that European software patents are back with the Unitary Patent Court. We have been saying this for a very long time, but some people refuse to accept it, even given a lot of evidence or law professionals who are saying the same thing. This isn’t a theory or merely an hypothesis; it’s a fact.

“According to Benjamin Henrion’s tweet this morning, the father of Free software, Richard Stallman, said that European software patents are back with the Unitary Patent Court.”Another thing that UPC will help bring to Europe is a parasitic element from abroad/overseas, mostly from the US. It’s already starting to happen. Last week, or just a few days ago, patent lawyers made the claim that it wouldn’t bring trolls to Europe (they don’t even call them trolls, just “Non-Practicing and Patent Assertion Entities”). Other patent lawyers still push hard for UPC and rebrand themselves accordingly. The lawyers’ media publicly boasts (e.g. in Twitter) whole sections about it. They try to capitalise on change, irrespective of its harm. This one site said: “Finland ratifies the UPC Agreement and its Protocol, UK gears up for ratification with a little legal complexity, UPC judicial posts open to all, and improvements to UPC IT system” (as if it already exists and only some minor details remain to be decided).

Well, law firms in London and lawyers’ media from that area may try to give us the impression that UPC is inevitable and even that it’s good, but it’s a horrible mistake and it would bring the EU closer in line with the US (with the world’s most notorious patent system), where people are dragged down to Texas for lawsuits over software patents (in courts that are traditionally friendly towards software patents).

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

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