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03.01.17

MIP (Managing IP) International Patent Forum 2017 to Have EPO and UPC Propaganda, as Before

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They never even published any response from the other side, e.g. AMBA

Managing IP and Battistelli

Summary: Managing IP is giving a platform (yet again) to UPC lobbying; the EPO’s management is invited, as usual, to help spread its lies at the exclusion of those impacted (like actual businesses)

“The current 25+ speaker line-up features participation from the European Patent Office,” (EPO) says IP Kat today about “MIP International Patent Forum 2017,” which is a fancy title for Managing IP‘s gathering, mostly stuffed with (full of) the patent meta-industry, including Team UPC and large corporations with tens of thousands of patents each (they conveniently send their so-called ‘IP’ departments to represent ‘industry’).

“Being abusive and being an enabler of abuse isn’t that far apart in ethical terms.”Which liar will Battistelli send? Margot Fröhlinger [1, 2, 3] again? The first topic listed above is: “Implications of Brexit on the Unified Patent Court (a rapidly changing topic, remarks Merpel)”

There have been lots of fake news articles on this subject, or disingenuous lobbying disguised as news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. This event is an opportunity to spread the same old lies about the UPC, just like in prior MIP events (we covered these last year [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]).

As we last pointed out minutes ago, having covered the subject before [1, 2] (just earlier in the week), the EPO cannot rule or work independently anymore. Why should there be trust for the UPC, which further empowers that same bureaucracy? Quality of EPs (European patents) is already nosediving and it looks like someone ‘dares’ challenge a European patent right now, based on today’s press release that says: “Estar Technologies Ltd. (“Estar”), a world recognized developer and manufacturer of innovative medical technologies in the biologics and platelet rich plasma (PRP) fields for the treatment of damaged soft and hard tissue, filed a notice of opposition requesting the European Patent Office (EPO) to completely revoke European Patent No. 2,073,862 B1 in the name of Antoine Turzi, exclusively licensed to Regen Lab SA. If successful, the opposition will lead to the complete invalidation and revocation of Regen Lab’s patent in all 32 designated contracting states of the EPO.”

The EPO is in a very bad state; it’s abusive and giving it a platform is a very bad idea. But that’s just what Managing IP has been doing for a while. Being abusive and being an enabler of abuse isn’t that far apart in ethical terms.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Battistelli and His Swamp Resurface Very Old News, Possibly to Distract From Boards of Appeal Complaining About Battistelli

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What a curious timing for the illusion of Boards of Appeal “independence”!

Battistelli statement with Battistelli images

Summary: The latest hogwash and lies from the Liar in Chief, who keeps pretending that the Boards of Appeal are “independent” while he himself keeps attacking them and libeling their judges

SOMETIMES we cannot help but feel watched, like EPO management reads our blog closely (we have actually been told this) and the FTI Consulting ‘gurus’ then tell them how to respond, e.g. with a blurb about patent quality (old news recycled) a day after this major leak of ours, changes to rules after this leak which made the EPO rather frantic or bashful (stakeholders complained), and now the above nonsense, which we already covered here in the middle of December (at least twice [1, 2] in a dedicated fashion). What is going on here and what is Team Battistelli hoping to accomplish? Is it going to spam some journalists and distract them from what we believe some of them already intend to cover? The PR staff may still have enough days in the week to do so and we more or less know how they do this.

For those who haven’t noticed yet, later in the day (today) the EPO published this: (warning: epo.org link, which can potentially be used for unmasking people inside the EPO)

In his welcoming remarks, President Battistelli said: “Mr Josefsson’s arrival in the post of President of the Boards of Appeal is of great importance. From the very outset, the reform has aimed to ensure the Boards reinforce their role as a judiciary body and can effectively serve users of a balanced and efficient patent system. We are confident that Mr Josefsson, who has a great deal of experience in judicial and international affairs, will help to ensure the reform delivers the benefits that it was designed to achieve.”

Josefsson’s “arrival” [sic] is not news, nor is he new around the Organisation. This ‘news’ about Josefsson is actually very old news (from before Christmas), so we suspect that Team Battistelli, with a quote from Battistelli himself, throws in some lies to distract from outcry of the Boards of Appeal, or maybe to distract from this coverage of ours [1, 2], which some journalists have already looked into.

“It cannot disappear,” one person wrote today. “There is a collated book version. At least every staff has an own copy.”

“The whole Organisation has been compromised at many levels and a Vice-President currently faces corruption indictments.”It would in itself become a scandal if Battistelli censored their report (a foolish move to even attempt), just serving to reinforce their point… and besides, we have already made a copy anyway. One thing that Battistelli can attempt to do instead is punish them for it, again, especially if/once discovered who inserted these ‘Satanic verses’ which dared criticise God, Battistelli. In the mean time, attention diversion is possibly attempts, hence the above.

Already, as is made apparent by the following new comment, there is serious brain drain, confirming what we have been warning about for a long time (replacement of experienced and ‘expensive’ workers, along the lines of ENA ‘economics’). We couldn’t agree more with the following thoughts:

The retirement age and resignation figures show a pretty clear trend. Compared to 2013, (experienced) people are now more keen to leave the employ of the EPO. Most likely the figures for 2016 will be even worse.

The shift to younger (ie lower cost) employees means a cheaper and likely more malleable workforce. This will mean increased “profits” for the EPO (especially given the ridiculous increases in fees that have been announced) and fewer problems with old hands who remember what it was like to be treated with respect. With such bumper profits coming through, it looks like it will be trebles all round for BB and his cronies at the AC!

The Administrative Council (AC) is led by a farce of a Chairman — a man so cruel and arguably corrupt himself. So what moral authority would he have to step in and tackle the abuses of Battistelli? He became a protector rather than overseer. The whole Organisation has been compromised at many levels and a Vice-President currently faces corruption indictments. That is how grim things have become. But only an ‘armed Nazi’ would dare point that out…

Links 1/3/2017: Q4OS 1.8.3, Lakka 2.0 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 7:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source web servers | NGINX, Apache, Lighttpd and more

    Web servers have come a long way since the CERN httpd was developed by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 as part of the same project that resulted in the first ever web browser.

    Some of the leading suppliers of web servers today provide closed source enterprise-level options for enterprises, but many others retain the open values embodied by Tim Berners-Lee and the decision to release the source code for CERN httpd into the public domain in 1993.

    Computerworld UK looks at the best open source web servers currently available for enterprises.

  • GitHub Shows How to Get Started with Open Source
  • Verizon, Atos, CableLabs join ETSI Open Source MANO project

    ETSI Open Source MANO initiative swells to 60 organizations with arrival of Verizon, Atos and CableLabs as new members.

  • Rise of Open Source IoT Picks Up Steam

    The rise of open source Internet of Things (IoT) is inevitable, according to a recent survey by open source software firm Red Hat. The survey found that while enterprises are exploring the potential of IoT, they are not rushing into development and project initiation without caution. In fact, “steady deliberation” seems to be the industry approach to IoT, with a focus on containing development and project costs, overriding the initial excitement around IoT. This indicates a preference for open source development environments going ahead.

  • As the Software Supply Chain Shifts, Enterprise Open Source Programs Ramp Up

    Today’s software supply chain is fundamentally different than it was only a few years ago, and open source programs at large enterprises are helping to drive that trend. According to Sonatype’s 2016 State of the Software Supply Chain enterprises are both turning to existing open source projects to decrease the amount of code they have to write, and increasingly creating their own open source tools.

  • Is it the end of the traditional resume?

    For the past five years, I’ve been unreasonably excited about a metadata standard known as Open Badges. In October 2016, as part of Mozilla Foundation’s plans to transition the maintenance of the standard to the non-profit IMS Global Consortium, the Open Badges website was relaunched with perhaps the most concise definition I’ve seen: “Connected, verifiable credentials represented in portable image files.” We’re now at the stage where additional standards are being built upon Open Badges, whether blockchain-related or, as I will outline in this article, relating to ways badges tell stories through learning pathways.

  • Haiku OS Begins Prepping For Ryzen, Subpixel Rendering

    The open-source Haiku OS inspired by BeOS has made much progress this month on several fronts.

    Haiku OS has been working on real sub-pixel rendering support now that Microsoft patents pertaining to sub-pixel rendering are expiring. There have also been improvements to Haiku’s JSON API, work underway to make Haiku build under GCC 6, and prep support for upcoming AMD Ryzen CPU coverage.

  • Events

    • Keynote: Community Software Powers the Machine by Mark Atwood
    • Community Software, Science Fiction, and The Machine

      Not many presentations can start with a video co-promoting a new computer and the latest Star Trek movie, but Mark Atwood, Director of Open Source Engagement at HP Enterprise, started his LinuxCon Europe keynote with a video about The Machine and Star Trek Beyond.

      The Machine uses a new kind of physics for computation and data storage allowing it to be very fast, energy efficient, and agile. The Machine runs Linux, and Atwood says that “the best way to promote the use of any sort of new technology is to make it open source.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Acquires Pocket Developer Read It Later

        Mozilla makes its first acquisition, adding online bookmarking and sharing service Pocket to its roster.

        On Feb. 27, Mozilla announced its first ever acquisition, announcing that it has acquired Read It Later Inc, which is best known for its Pocket technology that enables users to save, share and discover online links.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Programming/Development

    • NPM or Yarn? Node.js devs pick their package manager

      Mere months since it was open-sourced by Facebook, Yarn has NPM on the run. The upstart JavaScript package manager has gained a quick foothold in the Node.js community, particularly among users of the React JavaScript UI library.

      Known for faster installation, Yarn gives developers an improved ability to manage code dependencies in their Node.js projects, proponents say. It features a deterministic install algorithm and a lockfile capability that lists exact version numbers of all project dependencies. In this way, Yarn enables installation of thousands of third-party packages from the internet while ensuring code is executed the same on every system.

    • WebAssembly consensus and end of Browser Preview
    • WebAssembly Ends Browser Preview With Initial API & Binary Format

      The WebAssembly project that’s the cross-browser effort for low-level programming for in-browser client-side execution has reached a major milestone today. WASM can allow compiling C/C++ among other languages down into code supported by Firefox, Chrome, WebKit, and Edge.

      The WebAssembly stakeholders agreed that it’s the end of the browser preview phase with the initial WebAssembly API and binary format being complete for their initial implementation. Web browsers can now begin shipping WebAssembly support enabled by default.

Leftovers

  • Amazon’s web servers are down and it’s causing trouble across the internet

    Amazon’s web hosting services are among the most widely used out there, which means that when Amazon’s servers goes down, a lot of things go down with them. That appears to be happening today, with Amazon reporting “high error rates” in one region of its S3 web services, and a number of services going offline because of it.

    Trello, Quora, IFTTT, and Splitwise all appear to be offline, as are websites built with the site-creation service Wix; GroupMe seems to be unable to load assets (The Verge’s own image system, which relies on Amazon, is also down); and Alexa is struggling to stay online, too. Nest’s app was unable to connect to thermostats and other devices for a period of time as well.

  • Amazon data centre fault knocks websites offline temporarily

    Several high-profile websites and services were knocked offline by a failure at one of Amazon’s major US data centres.

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) allows firms to rent cloud servers in order to host data on the internet without needing to invest in their own infrastructure.

    On Tuesday, sites such as Quora, a Q&A forum, and Trello, which helps people monitor productivity, went down.

    After several hours, Amazon said it had rectified the problem.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tough times for farmers – many seek debt relief and therapy

      Following a protest “tractor march” by farmers in Helsinki last spring, the government provided 50 million euros in emergency aid to the agricultural sector. This is far from enough, say those working with a Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution (Mela) project aimed at helping farmers cope with financial pressures. On many farms, economic difficulties that have piled up for a long time are also taking a psychological toll.

      [...]

      Fewer working farms also mean a shrinking safety net for farmers, who have fewer neighbours to turn to in need, a smaller local social network. Of the approximately 100,000 farms in the country 20 years ago, only around 50,000 remain. At the same time, the size of farms and the accompanying investment and economic risks have increased. [iophk: "the population did not halve during the same interval"]

    • Rare Diseases: Pharma Industry Calls For Collaboration, Political Commitment For Research [Ed: Sounds like this cartel is urging politicians to give it taxpayers' money for monopolies and patents, to hold lives hostage]

      Big Pharma wants to develop treatments for rare diseases, with government support. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) this week launched a new report describing policy priorities to increase research and development into rare diseases.

      Rare diseases are conditions which affect very small numbers of people. Currently between 5,000 and 8,000 rare diseases have been identified. The day 28 February was called Rare Diseases Day.

    • A Look At Latest Figures On R&D For Neglected Diseases [Ed: When development of cures is only motivated by profit/finance, not needs]

      Financing for research and development into so-called neglected diseases – those predominantly affecting lower-income populations – rose recently mainly due to the Ebola outbreak, and private sector contributions represent a bigger share, according to the latest available data from a Gates Foundation-supported database.

    • What Is Fair Pricing For Medicines? WHO-Netherlands Forum Aims To Find Out

      Public health stakeholders – and just about everyone else – may take notice of a meeting planned for May in the Netherlands, as it could offer the beginning of a new approach to pharmaceutical costs. High drug prices have become a ‘kitchen table’ issue in countries of all economic sizes recently, and the World Health Organization is teaming up with the Dutch government to address it in a new and practical way.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ISIS forced me to watch videos, shot me thrice: AP doctor freed from Libya

      Dr Ramamurthy Kosanam, the Andhra Pradesh doctor freed from Islamic State (IS) captivity in Libya, said on Sunday that the terrorist organisation forced the hostages to watch videos of what it did in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other places.

      “ISIS people forced us to watch videos of what they did to Iraq, Syria, Nigeria & other places. It was bit difficult to watch them,” he said speaking to ANI.

      He also said that ISIS recruits did not assault the hostages physically, but abused them verbally.

      Ramamurthy said most of the ISIS terrorists were educated youth who knew about India.

    • 2 hurt as gun goes off during French President’s speech

      Two people were wounded when a weapon was accidentally fired Tuesday as French President François Hollande was giving a speech in the western city of Villognon, the mayor told CNN.
      Hollande was not injured, but two other people were, Mayor Claude Guitton said. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Audi Engineer Exposes Cheat Order

      In an interesting turn of events last week in a German court, evidence has materialized that engineers were ordered to cheat emissions testing when developing automotive parts.

      Last Tuesday, Ulrich Weiß brought forward a document that alleges Audi Board of Director members were involved in ordering a cheat for diesel emissions. Weiß was the head of engine development for Audi, suspended in November of 2015 but continued to draw more than half a million dollars in salary before being fired after prior to last week’s court testimony.

    • Calls for Cumbrian zoo to be shut after 486 animals die in four years

      Inspectors have called for the owner of a zoo to face prosecution after the revelation that nearly 500 animals in its care had died in less than four years.

      A damning report into conditions at South Lakes Safari zoo in Cumbria, which is home to more than 1,500 animals, found that 486 inhabitants had died of causes including emaciation and hypothermia between December 2013 and September 2016.

      One African spurred tortoise named Goliath died after being electrocuted by electric fencing, while the decomposing body of a squirrel monkey was discovered behind a radiator. The zoo had a death rate of about 12% of its animals a year.

  • Finance

    • A Perfect Storm at Uber

      When Susan Fowler, a Bay Area-based writer and engineer who until recently worked for Uber, published a blog post on her personal Web site last week, the piece, which detailed a pattern of gender discrimination at the car-hailing company, quickly went viral. Among the experiences Fowler described in “Reflecting on One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber” were communications with a sexually inappropriate and vindictive manager, and the company’s failure to respond properly to Fowler’s reports of his misconduct. As the problems persisted, Fowler wrote, and she was prevented from moving teams and from being promoted, she reported every infraction to H.R. This later led an H.R. representative to ask whether Fowler had considered that she herself might be the issue—a comment that Fowler also diligently noted.

    • Brexit and the WTO schedules

      In this post I argue that there is one way in which Brexit will *not* be as complicated as initially feared.

      WTO renegotiation will be undoubtedly fiddly and tiresome – about as complex a technical readjustment as one can imagine – but it is ultimately not a predicament but a chore.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Red-State Progressives Hold the Blueprint for the Trump Resistance

      On November 9th, millions of Americans woke up to a nightmare: The election of a hyper-right-wing, single-party government led by people whose values they didn’t share, and who didn’t reflect the cultural, racial and gender diversity of their hometowns and neighborhoods.

    • A Test for the Anti-Trump Movement

      In the week leading up to the presidential election, like hockey players who refuse to shave during the playoffs, the women of the Weiss family lived in their “Pussy Grabs Back” T-shirts. For months, our family texts had buzzed day and night with emoji-laden reactions to the latest Trump outrage, while my mother waged a very personal campaign against the Republican candidate. When the first Tuesday in November was upon us, my dad, who has a giant poster of William F. Buckley in his office, bowed to shalom bayit and wrote in Steph Curry.

      All of this camaraderie put me in a strange position. Since the crucible of my college years—in which being an outspoken Zionist made you fascist, supporting the war in Iraq made you an imperialist, and believing that some cultures are indeed more enlightened than others a hegemon—I’ve gotten used to feeling politically homeless. I’m typically the hardass among the squishes. All of a sudden, I found myself making common cause with those whom I disagree with vehemently on, say, the Iran deal (bad), the necessity of teaching Western Civ. (good), and most certainly Israel. It is the difference on the Jewish state that has been the starkest and the most painful, as anyone who has paid any attention to the increasingly leftward tilt of the Democratic Party will not be surprised to learn.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Chinese Censorship of Feminism

      Following the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the world, Chinese women were noticeably absent from the international media spotlights. This is because street protests and demonstrations that “promote falsehoods” are illegal in China, and the Chinese government has a history of cracking down and retaliating against public events and figures that bring light to gender inequality.

      While the Chinese government’s restriction of public protests and demonstrations is nothing new, over the past few years, China has been slowly increasing its censorship of feminist media and publications. For example, in 2015, the imprisonment by the government of the Feminist Five, a group of vocal Chinese women’s rights activists, made headlines and led to an international outcry, leading to their subsequent release. The members of the group had been detained for distributing pamphlets about sexual harassment on March 8, International Women’s Day.

    • Disrupt Censorship! How To Keep Seeing News That Matters To You [Ed: There is an inherent problem when people turn not to news site but people they call 'friends', who are meta-edited by politically-motivated Facebook algorithms]

      Is it algorithms? Or maybe censorship? Or do people just not care anymore? These are the questions going through many people’s minds as it becomes increasingly more difficult to stay informed in our world.

      Facebook became the top source for driving news and information to people in 2015. According to Parse.ly’s chief technical officer, Andrew Montalenti, latest estimates show that social media sources (of which Facebook is by far the largest) accounted for about 43% of the traffic to the Parse.ly network of media sites, while Google accounted for just 38%.

      Now you might also have been hearing how Facebook’s algorithm has changed and many publishers are now seeing a decline in traffic from Facebook. There are likely a number of reasons for this and we will get to them shortly.

    • When false news becomes the mainstream

      Fake news is affecting the way we think. Social media platforms have recently been hit with fake news posts that affect politics, cause concern with hoax celebrity deaths, and promote propaganda. Unlike news satire, fake news websites seek to mislead, rather than entertain readers for financial, political, or other gain.

      Fake news websites successfully attract attention from large audiences by website spoofing – making the reader believe it is a trusted and legitimate source. Fake news is an unethical journalistic practice that has existed in print media before the internet existed and transformed even today.

      Facebook, a major asset of sharing news articles through friends and family, is trying to combat fake news by using a new IOS feature in selective territories.

    • Fake news is big news

      Fake news sites and articles permeated the 2016 Presidential election as partisan articles were generated by various websites and then shared via social media sites such as Facebook. Once read and re-shared online, the number of people viewing the fake or false news increases exponentially. Attempting to fact check these fake stories appears to make matters worse, as search engine inquiries only cause the results to move further up the results list, giving them a false legitimacy. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerburg stated in a Nov. 12 post that “99% of what people see on Facebook is authentic.” Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s News Feed Vice President says that one of the tactics the social media giant plans to deploy is undermining the financial incentives present that drive individuals to release fake news.

    • The Internet Is Silencing Artists, According To An Artist On The Internet

      We recently submitted our comments to the Copyright Office’s ongoing study on DMCA safe harbors, but perhaps we should have been a bit more creative. At least that seems to be the plan of the Content Creators Coalition, which has made its submission in the form of a video starring producer T Bone Burnett doing his best Werner-Herzog-without-the-accent impression. It’s… quite something. (Amusingly it’s also hosted on Vimeo, a site which — like all sites hosting user content — relies heavily on DMCA safe harbors for its existence, and indeed prevailed in a major legal battle over that very thing last year.)

    • Health boss husband of DUP candidate Pengelly Little in social media ‘censorship’ row

      The Department of Health’s permanent secretary should stick to his day job rather than trawl through social media accounts of health workers, the UUP has said.

      Richard Pengelly wrote to health trust chief executives saying he was increasingly concerned at “overtly political” tweets from health staff.

      Mr Pengelly is the most senior health official in Northern Ireland after the minister, and the husband of Emma Pengelly Little, a DUP Assembly candidate.

      In an email obtained by the News Letter, he highlighted two tweets critical of the DUP and Sinn Fein by two doctors on their personal accounts as being “not appropriate”.

    • Fictional president falls victim to censorship in Turkey

      As Turkey moves closer to a crucial referendum on the sweeping executive powers its president wants, the authorities have made it clear that nothing about executive presidents — even imaginary ones — can be a laughing matter. The creators of a short comedy film learned this the hard way as their fictional schnitzel-craving president was barred from debuting on the big screen.

    • Free Speech Fascists Like Me

      For espousing the same beliefs about the First Amendment I did on November 8 (everyone speaks always, unfettered), I am no longer a patriot.

      Many of the groups and people who supported me then, and once supported the First Amendment absolutely, now call me a nazi, fascist, enabler, racist and normalizer.

      Because we live in odd times, and because too many people only read a sentence or two before losing their sh*t, I feel the need for a disclaimer. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a nazi, fascist, enabler, racist or a normalizer. I do not like people who are those things. I didn’t vote for Trump and I think he’s a lousy human. ‘Kay?

    • Charlize Theron’s Oscar dress is digitally coloured-in by Iranian TV censors
    • The Oscars Look Very Different On Iranian TV
    • Iranian TV censors got creative with Charlize Theron’s Oscars dress
    • ‘Such a ban has never existed in my shop’ – Norwich Book Hive responds to Woman in Black author Susan Hill’s accusations of the store being ‘anti-Trump’
    • Author cancels book signing over shop’s ‘anti‑Trump bias’
    • ‘Woman in Black’ Author Cancels Book Signing Because Shop ‘Is Anti-Donald Trump’
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘Imam abused me every day in mosque’

      A woman has given a harrowing description of the daily sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of an imam for nearly five years as a young girl.

      Nabila – not her real name – was sexually abused almost every day from the age of seven in a small mosque operating within an imam’s home in the West Midlands.

    • Man collapses after caning for breaking Islamic law

      An Indonesian man collapsed while being publicly caned Monday for spending time with a woman who is not his wife in contravention of strict Islamic laws in a staunchly Muslim part of the country.

      Herizal bin Yunus, 27, fainted after being caned eight times in front of a crowd in Aceh, the only province of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law.

      Officials carried him off stage after he collapsed during the punishment outside a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, which was carried out by a religious official dressed in an all-encompassing, hooded cloak.

      But once he came to, a doctor examined him and said he was in good health, and he was taken back up on stage to be flogged another 14 times. A local religious court had sentenced him to be caned a total of 22 times.

    • Why Aren’t Women Taking Control of Their Lives?

      The way I started living life changed a lot post-divorce. Ironically, I gained freedom in more ways than one. Other than the most obvious — freedom from a bad marriage — I also started living life in a way I should have a long time ago.

      The pivotal moment came for me when I decided I wanted to travel more and secondly undertake some aid work. Like most people, I fancied a partner in crime so waited around to see who would be free to join me.

      I waited.

      And waited.

    • Yankton Sioux Challenges ‘Plenary Power’ Doctrine in DAPL Case

      The Yankton Sioux and their Chairman, Robert Flying Hawk, have broken new ground in litigation against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the waters of the Missouri River from invasion and desecration by the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL): Their complaint challenges the federal Indian law concept of “plenary power,” by which the U.S. claims total authority over Indians and Indian lands.

      To my knowledge, a litigation challenge to federal Indian law basic concepts has only been done once before, by the Western Shoshone National Council in 1995. The Western Shoshone challenged the whole structure based on the so-called “right of Christian Discovery”—including the “trust doctrine” that the U.S. uses in conjunction with “plenary power.”

    • Ex-CIA Agent Won’t Serve Jail Time in Kidnapping Case

      Italy’s president commuted part of the sentence of a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer, allowing her to avoid prison for her role in a controversial U.S. program that involved kidnapping suspected terrorists and flying them to other countries for interrogation.

    • Jury Acquits Restaurant Owner Of Obstruction Charges For Tweeting Out Photo Of Teens Involved In Police Alcohol Sting

      Obstructing government operations seems like a serious offense, but it tends to be one of those catch-all charges used by law enforcement to generate arrests for non-criminal activities like showing less respect than officers feel they deserve or someone getting all constitutional in response to searches and/or seizures. In Nebraska, law enforcement uses it to handle “being made.”

      [...]

      The police certainly seemed secure in the rightness of their actions, despite everything about the arrest looking like nothing more than petty revenge for having their operation blown. And the local prosecutors office was the most compliant entity in this failed compliance sting, as it followed through with a jury trial, rather than drop the ridiculous charge.

      The jury found in favor of the restaurant owner, which means the next time an ID sting is uncovered, restaurant owners are more than welcome to let each other know which teens are acting as narc-of-the-day for the local PD.

      Honestly, the problem here lies entirely with state law enforcement and its response to Horavatinovich’s actions. As Fault Lines’ Josh Kendrick points out, the public shouldn’t be forced to stay silent when law enforcement screws up.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC chairman says net neutrality was a mistake

      FCC chairman Ajit Pai said today that net neutrality was “a mistake” and that the commission is now “on track” to return to a much lighter style of regulation.

      “Our new approach injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market,” Pai said during a speech at Mobile World Congress this afternoon. “And uncertainty is the enemy of growth.”

      Pai has long been opposed to net neutrality and voted against the proposal when it came up in 2015. While he hasn’t specifically stated that he plans to reverse the order now that he’s chairman, today’s speech suggests pretty clearly that he’s aiming to.

    • New FCC chairman: Net neutrality rules were a ‘mistake’

      The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, passed two years, ago were a “mistake” that caused uncertainty for the broadband industry, the agency’s new chairman said.

      The net neutrality rules, along with the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband as a regulated common carrier, “deviated” from the U.S. government’s longstanding light-touch regulatory approach toward the internet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

    • Rally Marks Anniversary of Net Neutrality Rule as New FCC Chair Puts It in Crosshairs

      Proponents of an open internet are holding a rally on Monday to mark the two-year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote that enshrined net neutrality protections that the new Trump administration has already begun eroding.

      The 3pm event in Washington, D.C is backed by the Color of Change, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Center for Media Justice, and Free Press, and will feature the FCC’s only Democratic commissioner, Mignon Clyburn.

    • Decoding the Doublespeak of FCC Chairman Pai

      Michael Flynn, Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller aren’t the only Donald Trump surrogates who’ve had a very bad couple of weeks.

      Ajit Pai, the president’s pick to lead the Federal Communications Commission, was pilloried by The New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards last week after his agency released a rapid-fire series of rulings in a move that resembled Trump’s rush of executive orders. Chairman Pai’s directives, which he issued with zero public input, undermine the open internet and undercut the agency’s Lifeline program, which is designed to make the internet more affordable for families with low incomes.

      Pai’s attack on Lifeline drew a swift response. A series of letters from dozens of Democrats on Capitol Hill asserted that Pai’s move to prevent nine internet service providers (ISPs) from serving Lifeline participants was “unfairly punishing” families in need.

    • FCC Boss Falsely Claims His Attacks On Net Neutrality Have Already Made The Wireless Sector More Competitive

      Last week we watched as Verizon, a company that spent years telling users they didn’t want or need unlimited data, was forced to bring back unlimited data. AT&T quickly followed suit with similar plans of its own, despite having spent years waging a not so subtle war on grandfathered unlimited connection customers. The reason for this sudden collective about-face? The continued rise of T-Mobile, which has increasingly brought something vaguely resembling competition to the wireless sector (even if non-price, often superficial competition remains the predominant law of the land).

      While this was happening, we’ve been noting how new FCC boss Ajit Pai has been taking an axe to consumer protections, moving to gut broadband privacy rules, making it easier for prison telco monopolies to rip off inmate families, and killing efforts to bring competition to the cable box. Pai also recently killed off the FCC’s inquiry into zero rating, after the former FCC stated Verizon and AT&T were using usage caps to give their own content an unfair market advantage.

    • YouTube takes on cable with new TV service

      YouTube has launched a $35-a-month TV subscription service that will rival US cable networks.

      The live TV service will carry more than 40 channels, including some of the country’s biggest networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

      The service will also include a “cloud DVR” that will let users record and store programming.

      One analyst told the BBC that YouTube posed a real threat to traditional cable companies.

    • YouTube launches its own streaming TV service

      At an event in Los Angeles this afternoon, YouTube announced its own streaming TV service. The offering will mix live-streams of broadcast and cable television programming with the wealth of online video found on YouTube. It’s the latest in a surge of over-the-top (OTT) services trying to woo consumers who never bought into traditional cable television.

      The service will exist as a standalone app. For $35 a month, subscribers get all four major networks — ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC — and roughly 35 cable channels. That price covers six accounts, so each member of the household can have a personalized account that offers recommendations tuned to their taste. The kids will have to draw short straws, however, as you can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.

    • MWC 2017: 5G – who wants it, who’ll pay?

      The hot topic at Mobile World Congress this year is not a new phone – apart from the Nokia 3310, they all look the same.

      Nor is it a new technology like virtual reality – compared with last year, there seem to be fewer VR headsets around.

    • Letter to EU Policy-Makers: Making Regulation Work for Community Networks

      In the context of the revision of the European Telecom Package, La Quadrature du Net relays the open letter drafted by the research project netCommons on the importance of community networks for freedoms and fundamental rights. The letter, which will be sent to EU policy-makers, make a number of recommendations for sustaining the growth of community networks.

      La Quadrature du Net stresses that, for law-makers, the review the Telecom Package should be seen as an opportunity to reinforce the transparency, civil rights and liberties and the possibility for all actors, especially small ones, to be able to play a significant role in the future so-called Digital Single Market. Also, La Quadrature du Net points out the importance of a fair and equal regulation for all the actors in the telecom ecosystem, especially local communities and non-profit entities. This revision should not lead to a closed market with few monopolistic actors.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Soundcloud Tells Guy It Needs To Kill His Account Of 8 Years Because Someone Else Trademarked His Name

        I’ve known Bas Grasmayer for many years, and he’s a super insightful digital/music strategist and has written a bunch of posts for us over the years. He tends to be on the cutting edge of any digital music startup — so it’s little surprise that he first got a Soundcloud account way back in 2008 or 2009, soon after Soundcloud started. His account is at soundcloud.com/bas/ because, well, that’s his name.

    • Copyrights

      • ‘Kodi Box’ Consultation Launched By Intellectual Property Office

        Following complaints from rightsholders and broadcasters, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is considering how the law can be tightened to tackle the so-called Kodi epidemic. Interested parties are invited to participate in a consultation to assess how copyright, fraud, and other legislation can target both device sellers and end users.

Now is the Time to Sign the Petition Against the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It only takes one minute to sign it and anyone can sign as everyone is affected (not just Brits)

UPC Petition
Direct link to the petition

Summary: With only days left before the UPC is debated in English/British (and maybe Scottish) Parliament it’s important to make public officials aware that there is resistance among those sufficiently informed

THE process of UPC ratification is better understood by us, more so as time goes by (a lot of misinformation keeps coming from Team UPC, which habitually spreads fake news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). FFII spoke to political parties yesterday (over the telephone) and gathered information related to the process involved (e.g. whether or not a Parliamentarian vote is required). Not only British individuals and firms can sign; these are still kindly invited to sign this petition “against the ratification of the Unitary Software Patent treaty by the UK and Scotland,” though we mostly rely on political interventions at the moment. Having a petition with many signatures in it would help these interventions.

The petition itself already explains quite clearly what the UPC would accomplish and what it is for, e.g. expanding litigation scope and patent scope. We reproduce it below for those who may be reluctant (or too lazy) to follow the link:

We, the undersigned citizens, IT professionals, and IT companies of United Kingdom and Scotland, are strongly against the ratification of the Unitary Patent. We call on the Government and elected Members of Parliament of UK and Scotland to reject this international agreement for the following reasons:

1. We are worried about the thousands of software patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) against the spirit of the European Patent Convention (EPC article 52.2); The proposed Unitary Patent Court would provide a single point of failure (SPOF) to create case law in favour of patentability of software on a European scale;

2. The Unitary Patent contains paragraphs which refer to the Supremacy of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), while politicians have promised to respect the democratic Brexit vote of UK citizens to leave the European Union;

3. EPO’s software patents are the worst nightmare of software developers; software companies can be threatened and sued at any time;

4. Many experts in the field have recognized that the Unitary Patent is the perfect vehicle for validating software patents in Europe (see quotes page). A heavily debated directive was rejected by the European Parliament in 2005 at the request of large multinational corporations (MNCs) which prefered a push for central patent court instead;

5. We are afraid of the multiplication of threats and lawsuits brought by some companies, and especially the ones that don’t produce anything other than patents (so called “Non Practising Entities” or “Patent Trolls”); We are concerned that software patents shifts budgets allocated to R&D (Research & Development, run by software developers) to P&L (Patents & Litigation, run by lawyers);

6. Our companies don’t have the financial means to defend themselves in court or to pay damages, and we believe the Unitary Patent would make it worse. The Unitary Patent has not been designed for small companies in mind. The cost of litigation and the amount of damages would be on the rise, as they would be calculated for the whole EU market;

7. The Unitary Patent Court would be more attractive to patent trolls that apply and litigate patents, as EU-wide injunctions and EU-wide damages would be available to extract large sums of money. Companies that don’t have the financial means to defend themselves in court would be forced to settle;

8. We believe the UPC is an undemocratic instrument, whose 130 pages of rules of procedure have not been debated or drafted by parliaments, but by an administrative committee populated by members of the patent industry; this administrative committee would also have the power to change the treaty at will without consulting any parliament once the Unitary Patent is running; Parliaments also never had any power nor a procedure to amend those rules of procedure; citizens and companies don’t have democratic means to influence this important piece of regulation;

9. We believe the UPC is not counterbalanced by an elected parliament, not even the European Parliament, making this court a quasi-legislator when it comes to patent law;

10. The UK has a legal tradition to reject the German and EPO’s “technical effect” approach, which makes any software patentable when it runs on a computer; this restrictive approach to software patenting would be lifted by the large influence of German judges;

11. The UPC would make national clarifications to the European Patent Convention, as requested by previous petitioners, impossible;

12. The UPC would make bifurcation possible, which splits the validity and infringement cases (like in Germany), creating an imbalance where on one side, the patent owner says its patent is broad (infringement), and on the other side it is narrow (validity). Powerful injunctions to stop products on the market are granted, while the patent is later on found invalid;

13. The UPC is a power grab by the patent community, as judges are elected among this community. Patent law would be out of balance with other fields of law, and no supreme court would be able to intervene in patent law in order to correct their wayward doctrines and practices, as it happened for the last years in the United States with the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and the Court of Appeal of the Federal Circuit (CAFC). Patent law would evolve in its own bubble;

14. We call on other EU member states to redraft the project in order to make it integrated within the structures of the European Union, and migrate the undemocratic European Patent Office (EPO) into an EU agency under the sole responsability of the European Parliament. The EPO is an international organization which abuses its diplomatic immunity, and is thus literally outside the law. We also denote the lack of separation of powers within the Council of European Ministers, which are part of the executive, and were heavily influenced by their National Patent Offices. The legislator should not be influenced by the executive, which is the currently the norm at EU level..

Benjamin Henrion (FFII) deserves most of the credit for the above text. If Europe ever falls for the UPC, it will have a knock-on effect elsewhere. Yesterday Henrion spotted Watchtroll harnessing Europe’s policy to help people bypass patent restrictions. To quote a couple of portions: “The problem-solution paradigm has become a cornerstone of patentability in Europe. Drafters interested in protection in Europe by direct filing or via PCT consequently need to cultivate a flexible attitude to problem-solution for analyzing, describing and claiming inventions, and defending patentability. [...] The EPO uses its problem-and-solution approach in a restricted way in the assessment of inventive step during examination once the claim is settled. The official approach is to take as the starting point the closest single item of prior art known at that stage, for expressing the invention in terms of the “objective problem” solved by the skilled person in going from this closest prior art to the then-claimed invention, i.e. in achieving the technical contribution of the invention.”

MIP, publishing behind a paywall as usual (so that only those who agree can read), speaks of UPC “progress” this week (looking back at the month that ended last night). The piece makes it appear as though UPC is definitely coming, but the reality is grimmer and there are still many barriers to the UPC (present and future hurdles). “EU Council ministers discuss Unitary Patent and UPC, Italy ratifies the UPC Agreement (UPCA), UK government publishes Brexit strategy document and answers questions on its UPCA ratification commitment,” MIP wrote.

“What we expect to happen is, more people will become aware of the UPC and who it is really for and debates will intensify to the point where the UPC’s untenability and incompatibilities are realised, whereupon the whole shebang is officially in a limbo again.”Also at MIP, Helga Chapman wrote about early certainty of patentability at the UK-IPO, noting that “[t]he EPO has now addressed this issue with the implementation of its Early Certainty programme,” which is actually notorious among EPO staff. You can’t rush examination like that; it’s like using two women to conceive/deliver a baby in 4.5 months.

What we expect to happen is, more people will become aware of the UPC and who it is really for and debates will intensify to the point where the UPC’s untenability and incompatibilities are realised, whereupon the whole shebang is officially in a limbo again. Battistelli’s wet and perverse dream will not have come to fruition by his term’s end.

In the mean time, please do sign the above petition and spread this link around. There is less than a week left to do so and politicians — not just British politicians — are counting on these signatures.

Justice is Dead Not Only at the European Patent Office But Also the Whole European Patent Organisation

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In the name of ‘security’ (not of staff), so-called ‘reforms’ are passed without proper scrutiny but growing complicity

A shocked Battistelli

Summary: The whole mechanism of justice at the EPO (notably separation of powers) is more or less defunct after Battistelli asserted God-like powers not just over the Office but the entire Organisation, including the above-mentioned Boards of Appeal

YESTERDAY culminated in this article about the Boards of Appeal (BoA) openly complaining about Battistelli. They don’t feel like they have independence anymore and it impacts their decisions. In the EPO’s propaganda mill, as of today, the Enlarged Board of Appeal’s recent ruling is explained/analysed by Carpmaels & Ransford LLP, but one has to wonder — as we have for at least a couple of years — to what extent the reign of terror (by Battistelli) played a role in these decisions.

“Dutch media said that Battistelli’s regime had become comparable to terror from Battistelli himself, not against him.”Jakob Pade Frederiksen of MIP (which hasn’t covered EPO matters for a while, perhaps for fear of backlack) explains just how insane and terrifying Battistelli has made the EPO. In the post titled “Update on BoA and security” one sarcastically wonders if he alludes to growing need for protection from Battistelli (e.g. protecting BoA from Battistelli’s retaliations) or something else. To quote: “Turning to the physical safety of the EPO’s staff and visitors, a variety of enhanced security measures have been implemented recently. The bags of visitors, including patent attorneys, are now being routinely inspected at the entrances of the EPO’s buildings, and the EPO has put in place a procedure for inspecting documents and other items sent by ordinary mail. The EPO may return suspicious items to the sender, or it may hand it over to national authorities for destruction.”

Maybe it’s all just intended to guard Battistelli’s alleged bicycles, which are alleged to have been tampered with. Dutch media said that Battistelli's regime had become comparable to terror from Battistelli himself, not against him. Considering the growing number of suicides, the death toll at the EPO is usually the fault of Battistelli's abusive management. In addition, many people are leaving, often by their own choosing. For EPO brain drain in numbers, see the latest comment in IP Kat‘s latest (3-4 months old) article about the EPO conflict. It says:

About retirements and brain drain – the social reports 2013-2015 provide some data:
2012 retirements 095 resignations 15 ends of service total 153
2013 retirements 108 resignations 17 ends of service total 191 average retirement age 63.1
2014 retirements 143 resignations 16 ends of service total 183 average retirement age 62.7
2015 retirements 216 resignations 23 ends of service total 269 average retirement age 61.1
Average age upon retirement dropped by 2 years in 2015 compared to the two preceding years. The data for 2016 has not been published yet.

The EPO is in a very bad shape. Justice lost legitimacy not just in internal tribunals but also external ones and judges that are supposed to be entirely separate from the Office also complain about loss of independence. This week, as in most weeks, the EPO says (in the cited page, not anchored here in the interests of privacy) that “transparency in all our operations” is a priority, yet they are very secretive for a public institution and transparency is what Techrights does FOR the EPO. Very few people knew about what had been going on inside the EPO until last year or the year before that (2015). Accordingly, fewer politicians bothered bringing up the subject and publicly intervening. Gag orders are very common a routine at the EPO; they also used a sort of gag order to hide their threats against yours truly.

“Justice lost legitimacy not just in internal tribunals but also external ones and judges that are supposed to be entirely separate from the Office also complain about loss of independence.”The EPO has just posted something about tenders etc. It did it again today (second time in a few days, citing a Microsoft site where they supposedly claim to be all “open” about procurement practices that the EPO is notorious for). As we hinted yesterday, we are currently investigating a potentially criminal element inside the EPO but are still verifying information. As a side note, since we’ve brought up Microsoft and procurement, mind this tweet (same pattern that has repeated almost every week lately) and remember that online filing is not as simple as using a browser. Proprietary software is required and it helps to be a Microsoft customer. Watch Microsoft Windows ‘ads’ in the background of this photo uploaded by the EPO yesterday. No EPO event would be complete without the patent thugs and bullies, or those who rig procurement processes with bribery (we covered examples in the past).

Justice and EPO don’t blend; with abuses and immunity the EPO has in fact become antithetical to the concept of justice.

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