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11.10.17

More Microsoft AstroTurfing by Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) and Mingorance

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACT Microsoft

Summary: ACT, now led by Morgan Reed rather than Zuck, is still meddling in European policy (software patents agenda) and other familar front groups appear at the scene in an effort to influence DG Competition

THE topic we used to cover here quite a lot (well before EPO scandals) is FRAND and SEP. Those two things are interconnected.

Generally speaking, in standards there should be no opportunities for patents entrapment, especially not software patents. It’s widely known why; the principal reason is competition.

“Generally speaking, in standards there should be no opportunities for patents entrapment, especially not software patents.”Bristows, the proponents of UPC, patent trolls, and software patents, have just given a leg-up to Microsoft lobbyists such as Mingorance (BSA, IP Europe) and Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). We wrote about what Microsoft was trying to achieve in Europe about a month ago. To quote Bristows (‘borrowing’ IP Kat as a platform for SEP advocacy): “There is little surprise as to what is informing the positions of either side. The question is which position will find favor with the European Commission , especially those in the powerful DG Competition, which has traditionally been pretty “cold” towards those who reside on the other side of the Atlantic. Or, perhaps, with such polar views on the appropriate way forward Mingorance’s suggestion of “no communication” may not be such a bad idea, at least for now….”

They know that a decisions is to be made soon, so they are trying to influence the outcome in favour of the litigation giants. Some background:

Over the past several months, positions of some companies and organizations have become increasingly entrenched with a battle forming between “use-based licensing” and “licence to all”. Two organizations – ACT and IP Europe – on opposite sides of the debate have been battling it out via blogs and press releases. IP Europe’s corporate membership includes Ericsson, Nokia, InterDigital and Qualcomm. ACT draws support from companies like Apple, Intel, eBay and Facebook.

That’s an odd description of ACT, which is primarily a Microsoft lobby. They don’t even mention Microsoft and perhaps that’s deliberate.

“Joff Wild just hands over the platform to ACT.”The editor of IAM too has just meddled. IAM now acts as a megaphone for Microsoft’s longtime (decades) AstroTurfing group ACT, which is again trying to change Europe’s patent policy in favour of Microsoft. Joff Wild just hands over the platform to ACT. To quote (notice how they list Microsoft last):

“I am hopeful that use based licensing will not be in the Communication and that license for all will be in there,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT The App Association, whose sponsors include Apple, AT&T, eBay, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft. Reed was speaking just days after IP Europe – another industry grouping backed by companies including Ericsson, Nokia and Orange – warned that such an outcome would pose a significant risk to SEP licensors and have an adverse impact on the roll-out of 5G and Internet of Things technology.

Echoing a recent blog posting on the ACT website, Reed rejected IP Europe’s assertion and questioned the notion that license for all would be the major departure that is claimed. “It seems that we are using the same words, but assigning different meanings to them. Each side sees the world differently. Where you stand depends on where you sit,” he stated.

Debates about this are imminent and we shall watch them closely.

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