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07.14.16

Deathwatch of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli put all his eggs in the “UPC” basket, attacked the sceptics, and now he digs his own grave

Battistelli digs his own UPC grave

Summary: The UPC seems very unlikely to ever become a reality in the United Kingdom and even in Europe as a whole

THE UNITARY PATENT is a subject we have been covering for many years, since before it was even known as anything “unitary” (words like “community”, “EU” or “European” were more common a bunch of euphemisms at the time). The UPC is definitely not for the EU or for Europe. It is not for Europeans or even for EPO staff (who are typically European scientists); rather, UPC is for prosecutors/lawyers and for mega-corporations (their clients), billionaires and Battistelli, who is dangerously close to them (see his political affiliation and professional background). The UPC must be stopped and EPO examiners too should work hard to stop it. Nothing would upset Battistelli more because his interests are often the very opposite of EPO interests (for instance, systematically lowering the quality of patents).

“Lobbying for UPC opened to non-EU states,” Benjamin Henrion (FFII President) wrote earlier today, “dreaming wide open…”

Henrion referred to the British and paraphrased IP Federation as saying outrageous things. “Not reopen swpat [software patents] debate: we prefer to see the minimum of amendment to the UPC Agreement (i.e. to remove the UK),” he wrote. We were rather shocked to find IP Federation referred to as “UK industry” in this new comment (original post mentioned here the other day). Basically, someone has just called patent lawyers and other self-serving parasites (when it comes to the UPC) the “UK industry”. To quote:

UK industry has announced a position on Brexit at http://www.ipfederation.com/activities.php?news_id=133

“Without a guarantee of continued UK participation post-Brexit, the UK should not ratify the UPC at present.”

It didn’t take long for some people to respond to this publicly. “Please note,” this person wrote, “IP Federation is not synonymous with UK industry [...] If the UK does not ratify now, the whole UPC/UP project may simply evaporate” (which would be good for the real UK industry as much of it is SMEs). To quote:

Please note, IP Federation is not synonymous with UK industry [see the very short list of members] and the position does not appear to be unanimous even among that self-selected group.

The declared position is either extremely naive (on the part of those who believe there can be any guarantees in the present political climate), or extremely devious (on the part of those who never liked the whole idea anyway and rather hope it will just go away).

If the UK does not ratify now, the whole UPC/UP project may simply evaporate. The benefit to that part of UK industry that is not part of IP Federation’s self-selected cabal will be lost.

“Not many SMEs I grant you,” said another person about IP Federation’s representation:

Strange comments about the IP Federation. The IP Federation represents a significant part of British Industry. Not many SMEs I grant you, but significant nonetheless.

In any event, their position seems to me to be pretty sound. Why would anyone want a patent that may not be valid in one (or more) jurisdictions? That’s exactly what those who insist on ill-conceived quick ratification are asking for. There are so many questions that cannot be easily answered and, for which, the answers may be challenged in future even if they are answered that certainty is required. The easiest way to be certain is to NOT ratify. Status Quo maintained. If the UPC system can be adapted to make it certain (unchallengable) that the UK is/can be clearly in or out then all well and good.

One person said that “IP Federation positions are almost always taken up by the CBI (who don’t have much expertise in the relevant areas) and they DO represent all of British industry.” No, they don’t.

“UK participation in UPC is silly,” Henrion notes, considering the fact that the UK plans — as per the referendum — to exit the EU.

According to this new article from British media for lawyers, “UK ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement soon seems politically unrealistic, says expert” (that’s the headline). To quote some bits:

Patent law specialist Deborah Bould of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that it would seem “politically unrealistic” to expect the UK to pass legislation giving effect to the UPC Agreement if its participation in the UPC and unitary patent system was not guaranteed to continue after the country leaves the EU.

Bould was commenting after Benoît Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office (EPO), suggested that if the UK ratified the UPC Agreement before leaving the EU it could be allowed to continue its participate in the new system after its exit from the trading bloc. He suggested, though, that continued participation post-Brexit would be subject to the outcome of negotiation between the UK and EU countries.

[...]

“The UK’s participation in the new patent system is a major part of its attraction, and its involvement was a factor in the decision that London should host a branch of the Central Division of the UPC. That said, subject to a possible amendment of Article 89 of the UPC Agreement, the Agreement is worded in a way which makes it legally possible for the UPC framework to continue without UK involvement,” he said.

One problem with all of these articles is that their authors speak to patent lawyers rather than actual stakeholders in the industry. As UPC is a Trojan horse for software patents in Europe, expect many software companies to oppose it strongly. Published a short while ago was some UPC promotion from Jane Lambert, a longtime UPC booster. She wrote:

Patents are granted for the UK by the Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) pursuant to the Patents Act 1977 and the European Patent Office (“EPO”) pursuant to the EPC. There is not yet such a thing as an EU patent but there is an agreement to set up a Unified Patent Court (“the UPC agreement”) and legislation to permit the EPO to grant patents for the territories of most of the member states of the EU including the UK, France and Germany to be known as unitary patents.

[...]

As Parliament has already enacted legislation to enable the Secretary of State to ratify the UPC Agreement and the statutory instrument giving effect to ratification has already been drafted (see The Draft Patents (European Patent with Unitary Effect and Unified Patent Court) Order 2016 10 March 2016) it is also possible that the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court will come into being before the UK leaves the EU. However, the UK would cease to be party to the UPC Agreement upon our departure since the Agreement is open only to EU member states.

[...]

The only intellectual property right affecting the software industry that would actually cease to apply to the UK upon our departure would be the EU trade mark. The courts in the UK that have been designated EU trade mark courts will lose their jurisdiction over EU trade mark matters. However, registrations under the Trade Marks Act 1994 would be unaffected and EU trade marks would continue to apply to the rest of the EU.

It doesn’t matter how much these patent law firms try to promote the UPC, Brexit is a real slap on their face. Days ago the EPO’s Twitter account again promoted the dead/dying UPC using Battistelli's lies and lobbying in Munich. Are they not even trying to hide their meddling in political and legislative matters? What has the EPO become, a think tank?

“UK ratification of the UPC is what everybody else is begging the UK to do,” says this new comment, but it’s a lie. Team UPC begs for it, but it’s not what people in the UK beg for (they don’t even know what it is and probably never heard about it, due to the secrecy). Here is the full comment:

Good argument from Millipede. UK ratification improves the negotiating position of the UK, trying to squeeze a good “deal” out of the EU as it negotiates its exit. Who in the UK could be against that?

Further, UK ratification of the UPC is what everybody else is begging the UK to do. The work’s been done already. A prime ministerial nod is all it now needs, I am told

Theresa May is a woman who does the right thing, rather than just court popularity. Just the right person needed now.

So Theresa, hold back on Art 50 by all means but, if you care about the UK’s reputation in the world, screw your courage to the sticking place and get on and ratify the UPC. There is no reason not to, and every reason positively to do so.

In time for May becoming our Prime Minister one person wrote:

But with time limited after Art 50 notification, might not it be to May’s benefit to hold off on ratifying the UPC in return for some other concession? Joining and then (messily) leaving serves her no purpose but eases everyone else’s interests so is a good bargaining tool. Why give it up a pawn for free straight off when you have bigger treaties to negotiate from weak positions?

Calling/urging the UPC propagandists to just accept the reality, “A true European” wrote:

It is amazing to see how members of the profession are hoping for a quick ratification of the UPC by the UK or are trying to find ways to keep the UK in the system in spite of the Brexit. Thinking of bringing back remaining non EU- member states in the UPC is simply laughable. EPLA is dead as dead can be.

Millipede’s contribution in this respect is revealing:
- the UK will have the advantage of the London seat of the UPC;
- the UK will have the advantage that once the system is started they will be considered indispensable for the continuation of the system (they are already deemed to be indispensable before the system has started), which will improve their negotiation position.

Having all the advantages but no inconvenient. That has been the UK attitude all along its participation to the EU. The presence of UK would certainly have been good for the system, but to come with the arrogance of being indispensable is going a trifle too far. Enough is enough!

The numerous attempts to salve the participation of UK at any rate is nothing more than a desperate attempt to try not losing the considerable personal profits the promoters of the UPC expected to make with the full UPC. It is clear that a UP without UK is much less interesting. But a Brexit is a Brexit.

Have those distinguished gentlemen thought of the mess their clients will be if the UK ratifies for latter leaving the agreement which is only be open to member states of the union? Probably yes, as it means more need for consultation, hence more fees. Cupidity has limits.

Does all those distinguish gentleman think that the UK parliament has nothing else to do than quickly ratify the UPC? Sneaking in some continued involvement with EU law in spite of the Brexit? I would like to see which explanation a MP will give to his constituency at the next elections if his constituency voted in favour of Brexit. As any MP wants to regain his seat, he would he be foolish enough to brave the opinion of his voters in this respect. A quick ratification is no more than wishful thinking.

Art 87(2) of the UPC Agreement provides that the Administrative Committee may amend this Agreement to bring it into line with an international treaty relating to patents or Union law. The amendments to the Agreement envisaged are of administrative nature, and said committee cannot take decisions which are of political nature. Amending Art 84 to sneak UK in is not in the competence of the Administrative Committee. Art 87(3) Agreement provides a protection mechanism should the Administrative Committee take decisions on a political level.

Instead of running after something which has gone, it would be wiser to put energy in saving what is left from the UP/UPC once UK has gone, but then to look at the matter with fresh eyes. The matter should be simplified and the influence of common law should be thrown overboard. After all, UK has left and the continent is not an area relying on common law.

“If the UK is to ratify now,” wrote the following person, “it will be a total mess later on.” Well, then forget about it and never ratify it. British people don’t need it and if they knew more about it, they would not want it either. Here is the full comment:

If the UK is to ratify now, it will be a total mess later on.
Just think of the unitary effect scope when the two years delay will lapse should no agreement be found ? Remember how Serbia and Montenegro separated ? Patentee had to register their former patent to the Montenegro IP office. One could expect that a unitary patent territorial scope be reduced when the UK formally leaves EU, but will it be. Then, hopefully some UK laws would provide for a similar registration at UK IPO (and what about Scotland if a Scottish IP Office is enacted at some point ?). Overall, the british parlement might spend the next two years just adapting all laws to the Brexit. No need to add special legislations for a short lived unitary patent. UK courts would not have juridiction on former unitary patent over the UPC countries territories. Conversely, UPC would not have jurisdiction for former unitary patents over the UK territories. What about pending actions before the UPC Court of first instance in the London section and in other UPC countries ? and before the Court of appeal in Luxembourg ? Think of the clause “as an object of property” if the first applicant is from UK: then, the unitary patent applicable law would change upon the UK leaving with German law applying in a number of instances. This might be bad news for international company having their UK subsidiary applying for EP patents.
If the UK ratifies, it would be such a mess that no one (whether UK applicant or non-UK applicant) would ask for the unitary effect until the UK has formally left EU. Even EP patent bundles might be at risk unless you opt out.
Fortunately, this will not happen because the German will not deposit their accession up until the UK has left EU. Germans are not likely to gamble the whole European patent system on Brexit issues.
EU has to immunize itself from future inescapable UK laws and endless court actions up to the House of Lords. Just think of the SPCs legislation and the european first marketing authorization.

Recalling the European Patent Convention (EPC), one person noted the following:

And there was me, thinking about the 1973 European Patent Convention, a beautifully simple and rigorous model law of patents that has since then swept the world and has been adopted, more or less verbatim, all over the world. It came out of a fusion of (mainly) German and English patent law principles. What a shame, that Europe is no longer a beacon to the rest of the world, about how to live together in harmony.

English common law fact-finding has a role to play, in keeping litigants honest. Discovery and cross-examination are the only effective tools to stop parties in court from trotting out a string of porkies. How sad then, that a mainland European can’t wait to see the back of English common law fact-finding procedures.

“A quick ratification is just promoting uncertainty,” wrote the following person. To quote the full comment:

Do all those promoters for a quick ratification will honestly advise their clients to go along with the UPC knowing well that the Brexit is looming and will have presently unknown consequences? Please let’s be serious and look a bit further than the end of one’s own purse strings.

One thing investors hate is uncertainty. A quick ratification is just promoting uncertainty. The hope of finding some legal trick to keep UK in the UPC, or even bringing in further non-EU members, is not to be taken seriously. What has to be envisaged is anything but a “minor” reform of the UPC agreement.

Should UK ratify, it still would need Germany to ratify for it to enter into force. Nothing more is certain. Do you think they are so stupid to give an ace away just to please the profession? Such an ace is as well a bargaining option, but for the other side. This fact seems have been forgotten.

Should the UPC start in 2017 with UK in it, the only direct effect would be a high rate of opt-out, probably near 100%. No sensible patent owner would embark on such an adventure. The UPC might be in force, but with no or very little effect. Has any of those vehement promoters of quick ratification ever thought of this?

Sorry for Max Drei and Millipede, Brexit is there, and that’s it. I have rarely seen so much cynicism and selfishness being expressed in this blog. As another blogger said, all the advantages but no inconvenient…

To paraphrase Max Drei: dear Angela do not ratify the UPC before the Brexit has taken place. Do not give this ace away to Teresa. It would just bring about a big mess.

“Back to the drawing board I am afraid,” the following commenter wrote:

Some of the suggestions here are laughable. A quick ratification from the UK to get the system up and running, with the option then of the UK leaving the system in due course (as per Millipede’s “win-win”)? I don’t think so.

Someone seems to have forgotten that the UPC is not simply a playground for patent litigators, it is a venue for companies to resolve their disputes. No major patent holder is going to leave its patents in the system under these circumstances. Thus, if everyone opts out, the system is going to be (using the phrase used by a commentator on an earlier post) an ex-parrot from the day it is born.

Back to the drawing board I am afraid….

One person spoke about the imperative of Brexit:

Let us hope that “Brexit means Brexit” is good old fashioned UK politics in which success is like rowing, staring fixed.in one direction while moving rapidly in the opposite.

Even if this is a vain hope: law is a servant, not a master, and given political will, much can be made possible.

Attacks on UPC sceptics came from “Anonymous” (probably an aggressive patent prosecutor) and several other offensive or inane comments will hereon be omitted to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. Basically, patent lawyers who invested a lot in UPC transitions don’t want to see it go away (Bristows for example), as if the public doesn’t count and they deserve their ‘toys’ no matter the circumstances (and Brexit). Speaking ‘on behalf’ (i.e. hijacking the voices) of SMEs and the British industry is a very dirty tactic. One person wrote about “the “pro-UPC” commentators” as follows:

I do not think that the “pro-UPC” commentators here are necessarily motivated (solely) by the thought of future profits. Remember, there will be many in the IP profession who will have invested considerable amounts of time and effort (as well as resources) in preparing the way for the advent of the UPC. Not wanting to see all of that go to waste is surely an understandable emotion, so let’s not cast aspersions where none are really necessary.

Having said all of that, I have to say that I view the proposals for saving the UPC as akin to grasping at straws. Perhaps not completely hopeless, but not all that far from it.

It is certainly sad that yet another attempt at “harmonising” patent litigation in Europe looks set to be consigned to the waste bin of history. Nevertheless, at least from my perspective, there are some silver linings. Foremost amongst these is the possibility to re-open the issue of harmonisation of national patent laws. One of the biggest failings of the current UPC Agreement (and associated EU Regulations) is the fact that it leaves too many issues open with regard to applicable laws (for infringement and other matters). This can only lead to the kind of uncertainty that litigants so dislike.

From this perspective, those who are truly interested in a harmonised patent litigation system across Europe really ought to grasp with both hands the opportunity presented by Brexit (to properly address the issue of harmonisation of national laws). There will no doubt be political hurdles to overcome, but it is surely worthwhile taking on those challenges to secure a noble objective, namely the delivery of a robust and harmonised patent litigation system.

Is there anyone out there who is up for the challenge?

A patent attorney, who is regularly commenting in this site, wrote: “Lots of discussion on what companies will do – mainly from the point of those in the profession.”

Well, it’s a coup, so interests of SMEs do not count, even if they all generally oppose the UPC [1, 2] for good reasons. It’s almost as if it all boils down to money/earnings of patent law firms, never mind the effects on the local industry (e.g. abuse by patent trolls). The following comment spoke about this:

Lots of discussion on what companies will do – mainly from the point of those in the profession.

What drives companies’ decisions? Money.

The unitary patent provides a significant value for money option whether the UK is inside or not.

The UPC provides significant extra power over having to separately litigate in each country.

Even if the UK has to leave on the worst possible terms [no membership of the UPC, no membership of the unitary patent]:-
- does anyone believe the UK will not provide transitional provisions to ensure continued effect of unitary patents in the UK either by unilateral extension (unlikely) or deemed resumption of national effect of the European patent (more likely)?
- does anyone believe the UK will not provide for suitable transitional provisions for cases underway at the UPC?

Contrary to the impression given by recent events in the UK, politicians are not blind to money either. Something that is good for industry (and cannot be characterised as tax dodging) attracts political attention. This applies whether it is the UK government seeking to assist UK industry by having the UPC (and particularly the UP) open as soon as possible – or the German government seeking to reduce costs for German companies doing business in the UK.

The money says ratify. Will the politicians listen?

Where there’s a will, there’s a way: and where there is wonga, there is will.

“UPC may be good for big industry in or outside Europe, but certainly not for European SMEs,” another person wrote. Here is the full comment:

I have always been told that the UPC has been set up for the benefit of European Industry and especially it’s SME’s. UPC may be good for big industry in or outside Europe, but certainly not for European SME’s. The best proof of this is the idea to create an insurance in case of litigation for European SME’s, which by the way still needs to be put together.

It is interesting to see now that the prime beneficiary will be, inter alia, US SME’s. And for sure they will chose to be represented by UK lawyers and representatives for a large part. When this is not an incentive to push the UPC in UK for its own benefit, then nothing will ever be an incentive. As already said by another blogger, cupidity has limits.

I agree that the fears expressed towards the UPC remind one of the fears raised before the opening of the EPO. But this fear bears no relationship whatsoever with the Brexit. Please do not confuse the issues.

In any case, in view of the solid national traditions and the way some mock UPC trials proceeded, the biggest role will be for the Court of Appeal of the UPC in order to harmonise those different national approaches. In any local court with two judges from the same country this is bound to happen. Not in the Central division, but then with the Brexit why should there be a division in London? The answer is simply no. All the advantages and not any inconvenient……

One commenter said if there is a political will, there is a way: should the UPC have to be renegotiated, this does not mean that it will never be possible to come to an agreement. It could be strapped from all the wrong things which presently have been put in the agreement. But with the Brexit, UK does not have to put its nose in it.

There are plenty of parallels/similarities between TTIP/TPP and UPC as it’s not about what’s good for the population or even businesses, just mega-corporations (usually foreign). “I work for a mutlinational company,” the following commenter wrote, “so luckily, our US comrades will received advice from within Europe that represents their interests.” Here is this rather revealing comment:

There is a big difference between the EPC and the UPC. Does it need to be spelt out? One system gives pan-European rights in one swoop and the other takes them away.

I work for a mutlinational company, so luckily, our US comrades will received advice from within Europe that represents their interests.

I have to say, I find the tone of the introduction patronising and xenophobic. but then I’m English, so I’m in the European minority.

“So a quick ratification is out of the question in my view,” another person wrote:

To be honest, do we not all overestimate the importance of the UPC in a Brexit scenario ?

If Brexit really happens, there is a long list of topics to be dealt with in negotiations and I sincerely doubt that the UPCA will be a “pawn” in this game.

There are thousands of issues more important to be negotiated. Law in general is just a part of those matters, IP is just a small part of the overall law package, patents a small part of the overall IP package and the UPCA just one part of the overall patent package.

I can understand that people having worked on this project for a good bit of their lives will stay optimistic.

But having already an EU project in IP, for which a solution needs to be found, i.e the EUIPO businesses, I sincerely doubt that anyone wishes to create another complicated “EU” project like the UPC with the UK leaving…

So a quick ratification is out of the question in my view…

Lots of attacks on the messenger ensued and here is just one which speaks about today’s meeting in the UK:

But, of course the Ah-No Nyms point of view as a German patent attorney is of no relevance. Of relevance is the political will in UK and remaining Europe. And in view of the politicians taking the decisions the UPC is already a main topic. For instance a government conference with British industry and other relevant circles has already been scheduled for Thursday, 14th of July. Maybe the UPC or better the patent package will be a cornerstone for the future economic relationship between UK and EU to avoid more damages from the referendum outcome than absolutley necessary!

“Our VCs wouldn’t spent a dime with the UPC even with the UK on board,” the following person wrote (obviously not part of Team UPC). “The UPC is dead in the water and all (academic) discussions are just there for saving face,” this person added. To quote:

Did you talk to any VC? Any SME? Anybody outside Europe?

Our VCs wouldn’t spent a dime with the UPC even with the UK on board.

Legal Security? Nope! – Does that mean we could loose the IP (=our investment) in ONE court that nobody knows how they are deciding (and by which exact rules)?!?

Really cheaper? Not unless you were suing in at least 2 countries.

Experinced Judges? No Brits, nobody who is or was employed at the EPO! Who shall fill in all the positions? In Europe nobody would want to have German judges sitting everywhere.

SPC? Don’t even start!

True European? Nope, at least Britain, Switzerland and Spain are missing from the “imoportant” or “big” countries.

South Korean colleagues were already asking on how to file national again…

So what money wants to ratify? Which industry?
Even Pharma was like “Well, we might test the sytem with one or two less important families”.

If one wants to promote “European Patents” cut the annual fees! They are what is responsible for the biggest part of the costs.

The UPC is dead in the water and all (academic) discussions are just there for saving face (and not having to confess to themselves that all that money and time was wasted).

“Trust me when I say that Pharm will not touch the UPC with a bargepole,” said the following person.

Trust me when I say that Pharm will not touch the UPC with a bargepole, irrespective of membership, location, or even tasty nibbles.

Those that say “we may test the system…” aren’t really part of the decision-making processes. Hence why they spend their time hob-nobbing at conferences on the UPC.

Only a fool would put their pharma eggs in the UPC basket, irrespective of the quality of the judges.

As we noted here in past years, the UPC would be especially attractive to patent trolls. No wonder publications that are funded by patent trolls (like IAM) push for the UPC. They can attack thousands of European firms in one fell swoop (low cost, no brand/name to damage in the process). What good would that do to Europe? This patent and litigation bonanza would be useful to patent lawyers, no doubt, but at whose expense? Here is another comment:

Yes I have spoken to those outside the UK – and found the greatest interest outside Europe to be from the USA, particularly from CFOs of small to medium sized companies who want as big a portfolio as they can at the lowest price.

Lawyers tend to be cautious, but those who control the purse strings seem enthusiastic.

I started as an extreme sceptic on the UPC/UP package, simply because there is so much that is wrong with it. A better system could have been devised, but a better system might not have achieved the political impetus for agreement.

However, by talking to some of those who control the purse strings, I have become convinced that there is a real demand. Buy four, get perhaps 20 free, is a message that stirs the accountant’s soul (if they have one).

Referring to “Meldrew” (an attorney), the following expressed similar views on why the UPC is not at all necessary:

I can second Meldrew’s information. Most of the US companies are happy to exchange having to go to several separate European courts (all of these unknown to them) to one central European Court (also unknown to them).
Also on a European level the interest for the unitary patent and the UPC is large and although some may choose to opt-out from the start, many will trust the experience of the UPC courts (which next to British and German judges will also have experienced French, Austrian and Dutch judges).

I further agree with Meldrew that indeed the UP and UPC system may have been better. But this was the best we could get it at this moment and along the way I have become convinced that it will be a workable system and better, much better than what we currently have.

The negativism towards the UP and UPC reminds of old times at the start of the EPC, when everybody was negative and wanted to keep with the old national system. Or, if you want a stronger comparison, at the time of the introcution of the car or the train or any technological development. People tend to be quite conformistic and don’t want a change. I predict here, that if the system starts, after ten years everybody will say that it has been an enormous success.

Lastly, to come back to the above discussion on Brexit, or rather UPC-exit negotiations: to my opninion it is better to start the system as soon as possible and only when it is running discuss the exit of the UK. Otherwise we will run the risk that the whole UPC will be re-negotiated, which probably effectively will mean that it will be impossible again to come to an agreement.

The bottom line here is that the UPC is not needed (except for the sake of those who invested in its passage), the UK is unlikely to ratify it (because of Brexit at the very least), and UPC might never become a reality anywhere in Europe because it was drafted with London in mind and this whole house of card is now falling.

The unworkable, irreparable mess (or unmitigated chaos) which is now known as “UPC” was never designed with Europe in mind. It was designed with Team UPC (its creators) in mind. Time to abandon it and move beyond this defunct effort at patent regime change. The public now knows too much to allow it to pass behind closed doors by gullible and/or corruptible politicians.

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    A sort of corporate takeover, or moneyed interests at the expense of our freedom, can be seen as a 'soft coup' whose eventual outcome would involve all or most servers in 'the cloud' (surveillance with patent tax as part of the rental fees) and almost no laptops/desktops which aren't remotely controlled (and limit what's run on them, using something like UEFI 'secure boot')



  11. Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF

    Restrictions on speech are said to have been spread and reached some of the most liberal circles, according to a credible veteran who opposes illiberal censorship



  12. Corporate Media Will Never Cover the EPO's Violations of the Law With Respect to Patent Scope

    The greed-driven gold rush for patents has resulted in a large pool of European Patents that have no legitimacy and are nowadays associated with low legal certainty; the media isn't interested in covering such a monumental disaster that poses a threat to the whole of Europe



  13. A Linux Foundation Run by People Who Reject Linux is Like a Children's Charity Whose Management Dislikes Children

    We remain concerned about the lack of commitment that the Linux Foundation has for Linux; much of the Linux Foundation's Board, for example, comes from hostile companies



  14. Links 15/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC5 and SolydXK Reviewed

    Links for the day



  15. Links 14/4/2019: Blender 2.80 Release Plan and Ducktype 1.0

    Links for the day



  16. 'Poor' (Multi-Millionaire) Novell CEO, Who Colluded With Steve Ballmer Against GNU/Linux, is Trying to Censor Techrights

    Novell’s last CEO, a former IBMer who just like IBM decided to leverage software patents against the competition (threatening loads of companies using "platoons of patent lawyers"), has decided that siccing lawyers at us would be a good idea



  17. Guest Post: The Linux Foundation (LF) is “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 2)

    Calls for papers (CfP) and who gets to assess what's presented or what's not presented is a lesser-explored aspect, especially in this age when large corporate sponsors get to indirectly run entire 'community' events



  18. Patent Maximalists Are Enabling Injustices and Frauds

    It's time to come to grips with the simple fact that extreme patent lenience causes society to suffer and is mostly beneficial to bad actors; for the patent profession to maintain a level of credibility and legitimacy it must reject the deplorable, condemnable zealots



  19. Further Decreasing Focus on Software Patents in the United States as They Barely Exist in Valid Form Anymore

    No headway made after almost 4 months of Iancu-led stunts; software patents remain largely dead and buried, so we’re moving on to other topics



  20. Links 13/4/2019: Wine 4.6 and Emacs 26.2 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Links 12/4/2019: Mesa 19.0.2, Rust 1.34.0 and Flatpak 1.3.2 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Caricature: EPO Standing Tall

    A reader's response to the EPO's tall claims and fluff from yesterday



  23. The EPO is Slipping Out of Control Again and It's Another Battistelli-Like Mess With Disregard for the Rule of Law and Patent Scope

    The banker in chief is just 'printing' or 'minting' lots and lots of patents, even clearly bogus ones that lack substance to back their perceived value



  24. Global Finance Magazine Spreads Lies About the Unitary Patent and German Constitutional Court

    Alluding to the concept of a "unified European patent," some site connected to Class Editori S.p.A. and based in Manhattan/New York City tells obvious lies about the Unified Patent Court (UPC), possibly in an effort to sway outcomes and twist people's expectations



  25. New Building as Perfect Metaphor for the EPO Under the Frenchmen Battistelli and Campinos

    The EPO is in "propaganda mode" only 9 months after the latest French President took Office; the Office is seen as dishonest, even under the new leadership, which routinely lies to the public and to its own staff



  26. Links 11/4/2019: Twisted 19.2.0 Released, Assange Arrested

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Still Wasting Budget, Paying Media and Academics for Spin

    EPO money continues to flow like water into hands that are complicit in legitimising the EPO's management and policies; this highlights the grave dangers of lack of oversight at the EPO, not to mention lawlessness or lack of enforcement



  28. Links 10/4/2019: Microsoft's GDPR Trouble, New Fedora 29 Images

    Links for the day



  29. Linux Magazine is Run by Advertisers, Not GNU/Linux (and It's Hardly the Exception)

    Advertising is big money — so big in fact that publications no longer care what’s true but instead focus on what text brings them more income (from advertisers, of course)



  30. Guest Post: The Linux Foundation (LF) is “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 1)

    Proprietary software giants with their sponsorships and gifts are more like Trojan horses or parasites striving to infect the host; how can the LF be protected from them?


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