03.01.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

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.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  2. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  3. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  4. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  6. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  7. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  8. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  9. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  10. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  11. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  12. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  14. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  15. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  16. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  17. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  18. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  19. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  21. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  23. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  25. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  26. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  27. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  29. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  30. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts