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

06.04.16

Software Patents in Europe and the UPC Already a Problem

Posted in Europe, Patents, RAND at 2:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Whose public service is this and why are European politicians allowing software patents?

A transit bus

Summary: More patent trolling in Europe (using software patents, as usual) and another disappointing move from the European Commission which serves to reinforce software patents deep inside public services, in effect overriding Europe’s policy on patent scope due to lobbying from proprietary software giants from abroad

“Trolls at the gates,” Francisco warned the other day. “Unitary patent is coming.” Francisco happens to have warned about the EPO and UPC for quite some time now and he is not alone (we gave examples of that). The President of the FFII, Benjamin, has just said “this is what is waiting us if nobody moves their ass on the Unitary Patent.”

“As we have noted here for a number of years, Germany is undoubtedly the worst in Europe when it comes to software patenting and this latest bit of news seems to reinforce this trend.”This was said in response to Jan Wildeboer, who works for Red Hat in Germany (Europe’s capital of software patenting) after years of activism against software patents (he is spending a lot less time fighting for this cause nowadays). “Patent troll forces Flickr to deactivate mobile upload in Germany,” Wildeboer warned. As we have noted here for a number of years, Germany is undoubtedly the worst in Europe when it comes to software patenting and this latest bit of news seems to reinforce this trend. I can’t help but wonder if upload tools in my own self-hosted albums are infringing too. Recently in the United States some very small and weak entities, such as family businesses, got sued/blackmailed by a patent troll over photo albums they had online. We wrote some articles about it earlier this year.

As Benjamin put it, “as long as those Patent Courts stays in Germany, I am fine. Problem is with the Unitary Patent.” Well, some of these patent trolls have begun coming to the UK. They use software patents, too. To quote the page from Flickr, “patent litigation is a tremendous drain on the global economy, and Yahoo has been a vocal proponent for years in the United States to restore balance to patent litigation by encouraging innovation and discouraging abuse.

“Patent troll forces Flickr to deactivate mobile upload in Germany…”
      –Jan Wildeboer
“Unfortunately, as of today, our Flickr users in Germany are the victims of abuse in the patent litigation system. In recent months, Yahoo and several other major US tech companies were sued in Germany by TLI Comms, a company that does not practice the patent at issue, but rather asserts it against others for financial gain — sometimes referred to as a “patent troll.” TLI Comms has accused Yahoo of infringing its European patent (EP 0814611 B1) by providing users the ability to upload photos and videos to our servers via the Flickr mobile web page or the Flickr mobile apps. TLI has asserted similar claims against a number of other major US tech companies. As of today, a German court has enjoined Yahoo from providing the upload feature of the Flickr mobile web page and mobile apps to our users in Germany.”

How long before other European nations suffer the same ‘castration’ of features? It might only be a matter of time. Bear the UPC in mind.

“European Commission kills FLOSS with FRAND patents,” Benjamin warned in a separate note after Glyn Moody, who had written articles on this subject earlier this year (we covered these), alerted followers to the fact that the “EU Commission confirms that it is abandoning open source to market forces – http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-1963_en.htm

Benjamin thought “market forces” are better off called “dark forces” and another opposer of software patents said “the EU are creating these standards & they cannot be used in Free Software?”

Dr. Moody responded with “very; but they care more about big business that likes FRAND” (a topic often covered here for nearly a decade).

As Benjamin noted, “patents means free software becomes proprietary. That’s what the GPL said in 1991 already.”

“EU Commission confirms that it is abandoning open source to market forces…”
      –Glyn Moody
If there is no freedom to redistribute the program, then it’s not Free software anymore. “The reference implementations can be whatever,” Benjamin noted, but “patent holders can still tax any other implementation of the standard.”

As I noted in response to the above (twice even) the EU/European Commission is a Microsoft shop that failed to move away from Microsoft and even failed to investigate Microsoft’s OOXML abuses as it had promised to do so (giving a false sense of hope to antagonists). Whose EU Commission is this and why are we still implicitly endorsing software patents, in spite of the EPC and the 2005 directive?

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. Links 24/8/2019: Wayland’s Weston 7.0 and More

    Links for the day



  2. Outsourcing to Microsoft and Openwashing as a Service (OaaS): This is the Linux Foundation in 2019

    The concept of "Open" at the Linux Foundation gives room for thought; are things really being opened or mostly marketed as "Open" and, if so, is the Foundation more like a marketing agency?



  3. Links 23/8/2019: Wine 4.0.2 Released, Removing Qt 4 From Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/8/2019: KDE ISO Image Writer, GNU Parallel ‘Jesper Svarre’

    Links for the day



  5. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: A Free (as in Freedom) Library, and Federation of Advocates

    "This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software."



  6. Linux Foundation's Linux.com in 2019: Zero Articles (Nothing Original) and a Terrible, Rookie New Design

    Linux.com has become a curated syndicator of news (edited by one single Microsoft proponent); the site has also eliminated its traditional design in favour of something only 'hipsters' can appreciate



  7. Managing IP as Team UPC's Megaphone and Lobbying Front

    Managing IP is lying on behalf of Team UPC yet again; the site's long history promoting the UPC hasn't ended even when prospects of the UPC are slim to none



  8. No More Rights for EPO Staff?

    The oppression and the crackdown on labour rights in Europe's second-largest institution has deepened to the point where staff is paid as little as is legally possible



  9. Links 22/8/2019: GNOME 3.33.91, Systemd 243 RC2, Cockpit 201, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10, FreeIPMI 1.6.4

    Links for the day



  10. Some Patent Attorneys Dislike Techrights Not Because It's Wrong But Because Software Patents Are Wrong (and Sometimes Illegal)

    Odd rants which misuse common law and ignore alleged Fair Use (and misinterpretation of copyright law, for censorship purposes) would have people believe that we're wrong; but it's more likely that the person in question is jealous, insecure, or offended by our stance on patent scope, which is very much rooted in the law itself (and the views widely held by software developers globally)



  11. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Distro-libre and feature-schema

    "Every time a distro does not suit a user's purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one's own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born."



  12. Links 21/8/2019: Dell's XPS 13, Mesa 19.2 RC1, Librem Update

    Links for the day



  13. Links 21/8/2019: Open Source POWER, Alpine 3.10.2, Netrunner 19.08

    Links for the day



  14. Edward as a Nodder to Team UPC Kool-Aid

    Bristows LLP is at it again and it's getting pathetic, not just dishonest as usual



  15. Guest Post: António Campinos' European Patent Office Redefines Modern Slavery in the Heart of Europe in 2019

    The European Patent Office’s (EPO) President António Campinos — like his predecessor Battistelli — emulates Chinese labour practices



  16. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: There is More Than One Iceberg Ahead

    "This strategy is not far from when Microsoft talked about "de-commoditizing protocols" in the late 90s, as part of their plans to control, dominate, and end Open Source and Free software."



  17. EPO Cannot Handle Patent Justice With a Backlog of About 10,000 Cases at the Boards of Appeal

    The EPO's long war on judges and on the law has proven to be costly; it's difficult to pretend that the EPO functions like a first-world legal framework



  18. The European Patent Office Increases Surveillance: Can't Get Food Without Being Spied on

    The infamous "War on Cash" has been 'won' at Europe's second-largest institution, where people's diet can now be monitored and indefinitely retained on the system



  19. To GNU/Linux, the Operating System, GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) is Not the Threat. Microsoft is.

    Don't let Microsoft get away with its bogus narration; GNU/Linux is primarily under attack from Microsoft, whereas Software Freedom in general is under attack from many directions



  20. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Has the Full Support of Techrights

    Our support for the FSF is strong enough that we want to occasionally suggest improvements; there are growing frictions designed to isolate the FSF and cause self-restraint/censorship



  21. Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

    Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the 'bad boy' of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there



  22. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: The Simplest Ways that AI will Change Computing

    "AI is already used to help kill people. We should be cautious, and know that the best rules we come up with (like no doing magic outside the school grounds) won't be followed all the time."



  23. Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

    Links for the day



  24. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

    "Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important."



  25. Breaking the Law Has Become the Norm at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office’s ongoing practice of destroying critics/whistleblowers and crushing unions, judges, examiners etc. — as well as threats and bribery of the media — ultimately mean a perpetual state of lawlessness that, if it prevails, will let patent trolls raid the European economy and stall innovation



  26. Links 20/8/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.6, Kdenlive 19.08

    Links for the day



  27. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  28. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  29. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  30. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."


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