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

02.14.19

“EPO Lawlessness Again”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

According to Florian Müller, an activist against software patents in Europe and a famous software developer

Mark Kokes
This man is gone, but his toxic legacy lives on

Summary: Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; “all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such,” as Müller puts it

THE European Patent Office (EPO) can never get itself to obey the law. In that regard it is at least consistent and António Campinos is no exception but perpetuation.

“This is the kind of scenario we’ve long warned about (since 2006). Europe is being infiltrated by armies of patent bullies, who nonchalantly leverage software patents.”Referring to software patents by another/any other name, yesterday the EPO wrote: “There has been a very steep rise in the number of European patent applications related to autonomous driving.”

The EPO then uttered or name-dropped 3 buzzwords/hype waves in one tweet; all mean software patents which the EPO’s granting authority is not allowed to grant (4IR, AI, blockchain). To quote: “How do you see the impact of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution (e.g. #AI, #blockchain, etc.) on the functioning of the patent system?”

We got accustomed to such tweets. There are several likes these (software patents advocacy) every day.

It has meanwhile turned out, based on RPX, that Blackberry leverages ridiculous software patents, granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), against companies like Facebook (we covered this before) and now there’s this new find from Mr. Gross: “New owner of Blackberry patents sues Apple for infringement; USB charging features: https://insight.rpxcorp.com/litigation_documents/13230734 … Complaint identifies licensing deals with LG, Samsung and Huawei, only Apple is holdout!”

Florian Müller has meanwhile just published this post about what BlackBerry does in Europe: “BlackBerry suing Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram subsidiaries over five European software patents in Munich”

As the former director of the European NoSoftwarePatents campaign I always find it shocking what kinds of patents the European Patent Office (EPO) grants despite the exclusion of “programs for computers as such” from the scope of patentable inventions according to Article 52 of the European Patent Convention (EPC).

Post-grant reviews often do away with those patents, but rarely ever on the basis of Art. 52 EPC per se. What typically happens is that the Federal Patent Court of Germany or other courts of competent jurisdiction categorize some claim limitations as “non-technical” and purposely ignore them in their novelty or inventiveness analysis. Whatever little remains then is often anticipated by, or at the very least obvious over, the prior art. But, unfortunately, efficiency gains (reduced data volumes, increased processing speeds, economic use of screen space etc.) often serve as an excuse for circumventing Art. 52 EPC.

Tomorrow the Munich I Regional Court will hold a first hearing in one of eight BlackBerry v. Facebook/WhatsApp/Instagram cases over a total of five different patents–all of them pure software patents. Patents on “programs for computers as such.”

“EPO lawlessness again,” Müller dubbed it in a message to me. “This week I just became aware of a series of software patent lawsuits brought by BlackBerry against Facebook/WhatsApp in Munich (five software patents in total). Those patents are totally ridiculous. No “further technical effect” or anything like that. It’s unbelievable what kind of crap the EPO granted. Interestingly, the patent-in-suit that will be discussed tomorrow was filed in 2005, the year that the EU Parliament rejected the proposed software patents directive… I’ll blog about it because I haven’t been able to find ANY report on those Munich cases (just on the U.S. litigation between BlackBerry and Facebook) on the Internet. Mainstream media…”

This is the kind of scenario we’ve long warned about (since 2006). Europe is being infiltrated by armies of patent bullies, who nonchalantly leverage software patents. IBM even lobbies for these Europe, contrary to Red Hat which opposed such patents and is being bought by IBM.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 26, 2020



  2. Links 26/1/2020: MuseScore 3.4 Released, New Kate Icon and Solus 4.1 Fortitude Available

    Links for the day



  3. MIT and Microsoft Have Done Nothing to Actually Tackle Pedophilia and Ephebophilia

    MIT never actually resolved the issue that caused Joi Ito, Richard Stallman and others to be ejected; Microsoft meanwhile continues to profit from life-changing abuse (while seeding puff pieces in friendly media, just to pretend otherwise)



  4. Opinion: If You Advocate Population Control and You Are Yourself Doubling in One Single Generation, Then You Might be Hypocritical

    People with 3-5 children (each) tell us that the world has an overpopulation problem; while the growth of the population certainly poses a risk, these people lack the moral authority to lecture us about that (unless they adopt a eugenicist worldview, wherein only particular people are permitted to reproduce)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 25, 2020



  6. Nothing Has Truly Changed Since Netscape and Antitrust

    The same old crimes persist, as well as the blatantly anticompetitive behaviour



  7. When the Monopolists and the Patent Litigation Industry Hijack the News They Control the Narrative

    Money buys perception and litigation firms have certainly 'bought' the media coverage, which fails to convey the issue at stake and instead paints a rational court decision as tragedy for "innovation" (by "innovation" they mean monopolies on nature and on life)



  8. Links 25/1/2020: OPNsense 20.1 RC1 and DXVK 1.5.2

    Links for the day



  9. The Linux Kernel is No Longer Free Software?

    Gardiner Bryant, the creator of The Linux Gamer as well as The Off Topical Podcast, reacts to our articles about DRM in Linux (he even pronounced my name correctly)



  10. Sometimes Proprietary Software is Proprietary (Secret) Simply Because It is Not Good and Obfuscation Helps Hide Just How Ugly It Is

    Why nonfree (or proprietary) software generally fails to catch up with Free/libre software — at least on technical grounds — and then makes up for it with marketing and FUD offensives (discrediting perfectly-functioning things, based on their perceived cost)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, January 24, 2020



  12. Links 24/1/2020: GNU/Linux in Russia and More New Openings

    Links for the day



  13. When EPO Press Coverage Boils Down to Lobbying, Press Releases, EPO Lies, and Bribery

    Any attempts to properly assess and explain what happens in Europe's patent landscape are being drowned out by EPO-bribed and law firms-connected media; to make matters worse, the EPO's bribes have expanded to academia, so even scholarly work in this domain is corrupted by money of special interest groups



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 23, 2020



  15. Links 23/1/2020: Qubes OS 4.0.3, EasyOS 2.2.5, GhostBSD 20.01

    Links for the day



  16. Passion of the Microsoft

    A rough timeline of Microsoft’s interactions with Linux and the Linux Foundation since 2015



  17. The Patent Microcosm is Really Panicking as European Patents on Life and Other Spurious Junk (Invalid Patents) Are Successfully Rejected

    European Patents (EPs) may be revoked en masse if what we're seeing is the gradual emergence of 'European Mayo' (and maybe soon 'European Alice')



  18. Distractions From Microsoft's Gigantic Tax Evasion and Contribution to Denial of Climate Science

    Microsoft (connected to oil companies) wants us to think of it as a "green" company; not only does it contribute to climate denial but it also evades tax, which is a serious crime that costs tens of billions of dollars (the public pays this money instead)



  19. Confirmation: System1/Startpage Offered Pay to People Who Pushed for (Re)Listing in Privacy Directories

    The debate is now settled; those arguing in favour of listing Startpage as privacy-respecting are in fact secretly 'compensated' by Startpage (in other words, they're Startpage 'shills')



  20. Vandana Shiva: “Bill Gates is Continuing the Work of Monsanto”

    A recent interview on what Bill Gates is really up to in that sham ‘charity’ of his



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 22, 2020



  22. Extending Linux With DRM, Azure and exFAT

    An insufficiently 'conservative' Linux ceases to be freedom-respecting



  23. Linux Foundation (LF) Now Dominated by Lots of Microsoft People and LF Chiefs Join Microsoft in Smearing GPL/Copyleft

    We continue to see additional evidence which serves towards reinforcing our view that the so-called 'Linux' Foundation is actually hostile towards many things that are associated with Linux (unlike those looking to exploit/hijack Linux for proprietary ends)



  24. Links 22/1/2020: Wayland 1.18 Alpha, ODF 1.3 Approved

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 21, 2020



  26. Poor Excuses for Granting Poor (and Often Illegal/Invalid) Patents

    A quick look at some of the latest examples of software patents advocacy (not by actual software professionals, obviously) and why it's deeply misguided (or guided solely by greedy law firms)



  27. A Simple Plan For a Universal Free Software Community

    "For software to be free as in freedom, we need more people to care personally about software freedom."



  28. Links 21/1/2020: Wine 5.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Startpage/System1 Almost Definitely Pay for People to Lie About Their Surveillance

    A longterm investigation suggests that there are forces in the debate that aren't objective and are being super evasive and dodgy; this typically happens only when somebody has much to hide



  30. The Internet is an Appalling Medium for News and It Has Only Gotten Worse

    Something ought to change in the way people gather and assess news; at the moment — as proper journalism runs out of steam (and budget) — things only deteriorate and quality suffers; this rapidly exacerbates as people come to rely on — and then relay — hearsay, not fact-checked bodies of work


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