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03.15.20

Everybody Knows UPC is Over, Even Those Who Still Attempt to Lie to the Public (and to Their Clients)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John Alty on UPC (former head of Office/delegation, now “Director General for trade policy, Department for International Trade, UK,” according to his Twitter profile)

John Alty on UPC

Summary: We examine the latest strands of lies from Team UPC, notably the claims that “clarification” is needed regarding the British government’s position and that the UPC can go on without the UK

THE European Patent Office (EPO) still hasn’t issued a statement about the UK’s position on UPC. It has been almost a month! António Campinos spoke about this to IAM and in some Managing IP event, but his words aren’t the official statement; they’re rambles full of lies and inaccuracies, as we noted early in the month. His master won’t be happy; no UPC job would likely mean retirement (still, better than prison).

This long article is an outline of the past week’s observations and developments, which are perhaps best summarised by Alty’s tweet at the top. He’s not some random person; remember the role he played in the UK’s patent policy. He was at times receptive to the EPO’s critics, as was his deputy. They’re both gone on. They moved on.

Benjamin Henrion reminded himself that “the EPO does not respect the ‘rule of law’ principle, it cannot be sued for maladministration. 4 constitutional complaints in Germany are pending on this, where examiners prefered [sic] to watch the World Cup of Football in South Africa instead of doing their job…”

The key point here is that there are constitutional complaints in the FCC that do not involve the UPC but are indirectly connected to the complaint against it. The judges (or Justices) can easily see the lack of justice at the EPO and there’s plenty of evidence that judges lack independence (they state so openly). We’ve long argued that the EPO should not have diplomatic immunity anymore. It breeds a lot of corruption and crime. Time to end the impunity by taking away immunity. It’s well overdue.

Henrion separately took note of the “RUMOUR [that] UK is discussing to leave the EPO as well. EPO is undemocratic, out of control, and corrupt by NPOs. So ‘taking back control’ makes sense. Apparently under US trade pressure, which has criticized the UK staying in the UPC as well…”

I have been hearing similar things, from several directions, but there has been no concrete evidence; so the rumour does not have strong feet, other than some circumstantial stuff and rambles from IAM.

Over the past week we’ve taken stock of various anonymous comments; just about all of them are pessimistic about the UPC, unlike blog posts and articles composed (almost always) by Team UPC. There’s a battle between fiction and reality (or common sense).

Henrion found this page which says: “Opening the UPCA to accession by 3rd countries would render the Agreement incompatible with the Treaties. Threat to EU law autonomy and EU control over the conditions of innovation and its legal protection within the Internal Market.”

The UPC/A is illegal and unconstitutional. There’s a good and very legitimate reason why the FCC sat on the complaint for nearly 3 years, knowing it would die on its own in due course (typical German approach to save face, letting time run out).

Let’s examine some of the wishful thinking, which can be split into two categories; one says that UPC will carry on without the UK (impossibility) and another strand focuses on Germany and the FCC. We’re still finding far too many lies about UPC in the corporate media. The law firms literally lie without shame.

As recently as this weekend we saw here in Mondaq a piece which insinuates all that’s at stake is British participation. We deplore this piece because surely Richard Kempner, George Tebbutt and David Brown (Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP) are aware that if UPC is “not for the UK” (as they put it), then it is not for anybody because UK is mandatory; it’s right there in the UPCA’s text!

Here’s what they wrote:

The UK government has just now made it clear that the UK will not be taking part in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) or Unitary Patent (UP) system. This is a volte face on its previously publicised position, but comes as no great surprise. The UK ratified the UPC Agreement in April 2018 under Theresa May’s government, a commitment that would mean the UK would continue to be subject to some EU law and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), if participation were to continue post-Brexit. However, the current Government confirmed last week that the UK will not be taking part in the UPC or UP in any form, perhaps reflecting its desire to avoid ceding power in any sphere, no matter how limited, to the CJEU.

What does this mean for the future of the UP/UPC?

Plans to implement the combined package of the UP and the UPC systems have been stalled for some time. A constitutional challenge to the UPC Agreement in Germany has held up its implementation, because the UPC Agreement must be passed by the three biggest countries in patent number (Germany, France and the UK), before the UPC can be introduced. The UP will also not be introduced until the UPC is up and running.

No UK, no UPC. Period. Over.

AJ Park’s Sam Pearson and Christine Egan (it’s a firm of overzealous patent maximalists who push software patents in New Zealand and Australia) also give the illusion UPC can happen without the UK (that’s obviously wrong), in effect repeating the chorus of the cult we collectively call “Team UPC”. They have promoted in Lexology their piece which says:

The UK government has confirmed that, post-Brexit, the UK will not be part of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) or Unitary Patent (UP) system.

BACKGROUND

Currently, after the grant of a European patent, it becomes what is essentially a ‘bundle of national patents’. Obtaining these national patents is subject to varying translation requirements to validate the European patent in each of the European states of interest, and maintaining the separate patents requires paying separate renewal fees in each country. Patent infringement and revocation proceedings are also conducted at the national level, which sometimes leads to multiple lawsuits regarding the same European patent in different countries, and which sometimes leads to different results.

The proposed UP sought to replace the current system with a single patent right, removing the need for separate post-grant validation. It promised significant savings in translation costs and renewal fees, especially for patent holders who choose to validate in more than a handful of countries. The UP was to be governed by a uniform patent court litigation system, the UPC, which would issue a single court ruling that would then be applicable in all of the EU countries. The idea of the UPC was to harmonise EU law and avoid a patentee having to litigate the same European patent in multiple EU territories.

It’s not going to happen anymore. There’s even further fragmentation right now due to the pandemic, but that’s another story.

Found in Mondaq a few days ago was another piece parroting a similar set of talking points. One cannot participate in something that does not exist and will never exist. But law firms are still chasing the shadow of the dead, publishing articles with headlines like “UK Will No Longer Seek To Participate In Unitary Patent And UPC” (a more accurate headline would imply that therefore UPC is dead in the water). To quote:

The UK Government has confirmed the UK will no longer seek to be part of the proposed unitary patent (UP) or Unified Patent Court (UPC) systems. Given the UPC’s alignment with the CJEU, this is not entirely surprising for the UK in a post-Brexit world.

Although it will be unwelcome news for many, the certainty of this new stance may mean the UP and UPC can again pick up momentum, subject to the ongoing legal challenge in Germany and re-working of the agreements without the UK’s participation.

Should the UP and UPC agreements be ratified as per the current proposals, UK business will still be able to use the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent to protect their inventions within the contracting EU countries. However, in the UK, businesses will only have the option of protecting their inventions using national patents (including patents available from the non-EU European Patent Office) and UK courts.

UK business will still be open to litigation within the Unified Patent Court based on actions they undertake within the contracting EU countries if they infringe existing rights.

Will? It does not even exist and never will exist.

Watch this shallow puff piece from WIPR, nowadays an EPO mouthpiece. It was promoted with this tweet that said: “A UK parliamentary committee has asked the government to clarify its position on the Unified Patent Court (UPC), after reports that the UK will no longer seek to participate in the project.”

They pretend it is about “clarification”, but we’ll get to that lie in a moment. This same lie was promoted by “Kluwer Patent blogger” right here (Team UPC, obviously), only to be met with hostile comments like the first one that stated: “I can also understand that the UK legal profession might not want to lose the opportunity for UK legal traditions to influence the development of case law of a potential UPC.”

Here’s the full comment:

I must confess to being a little perplexed by some of the oral evidence given to the EU Justice Sub-Committee on 10 March.

I can understand that the UK legal profession does not want to lose the influence (and, let’s be honest, the income) that it might gain by the UK’s participation in the UPC. I can also understand that the UK legal profession might not want to lose the opportunity for UK legal traditions to influence the development of case law of a potential UPC. What I struggle to understand, however, are all of the other arguments advanced for the UK’s continued participation in the UPC.

The suggestion from Mr Alexander that SMEs will somehow lose out is, frankly, not supported by the evidence. To the contrary, the fees and rules of procedure of the UPC appear to be specifically designed NOT to be “SME-friendly”.

However, more troubling than this is Mr Alexander’s suggestion that the UK’s participation in the UPC would only require the UK to sign up to a tiny amount of EU law. Unless I have missed something, this is pure conjecture that really should not have been presented as if it were an accepted fact.

Even the superficial (masquerading as “in-depth”) analysis commissioned by the EU parliament’s JURI committee spotted that there is no tried-and-tested legal mechanism that can be invoked to facilitate the UK’s continued participation in the UPC:
“Maintaining the UK within the UPCA would need innovative legal solutions, as the UPC is an international court applying EU law – and the reason for Brexit was all about not applying EU law any more.”

In other words, nobody knows what it will take to persuade the CJEU to accept the participation of a non-EU Member State in a court that applies EU law. Indeed, based upon Opinion 1/09, it appears that the CJEU would most likely view such participation as being a total non-starter.

I must also beg to differ with the suggestion that the CJEU would likely only have a relatively limited role in resolving disputes before the UPC.

Firstly, the CJEU might need to answer fundamental questions relating to the UPC itself… such as whether the UPC Agreement is compatible with EU law, or whether the set-up of the court means that it is NOT a court common to EU Member States (and so is not able to make preliminary references to the CJEU).

Secondly, the CJEU would be responsible for interpreting provisions such as Article 5(3) of Regulation 1257/2012. That is, they would need to make sense of a provision that, as confirmed by the CJEU in C-146/13, applies NATIONAL law(s) of infringement to cases involving unitary patents. This will not be straightforward, not least because of difficulties in determining how to resolve apparent conflicts between different (national and/or international) laws in the country whose laws are to be applied.

Finally, even if and when those fundamental questions are resolved, the CJEU might then need to consider other tricky questions, such as whether the UPC would be competent to handle SPC disputes in respect of the UK … bearing in mind that, from 2021 onwards, laws governing SPCs and marketing authorizations in the UK will diverge from corresponding EU laws.

I do not exclude the possibility that all of the legal issues outlined above can be resolved in a manner that permits the UK’s (post-2020) participation in the UPC. It is just that I cannot identify, nor have I ever seen or heard, any persuasive legal arguments that would make me confident of such an outcome.

Against this background, the decision of the UK government not to seek to participate in the UPC appears to me to be perfectly consistent with the UK’s red lines with respect to EU law and the CJEU. I therefore suspect that no amount of lobbying from the legal profession will change that decision. Indeed, it is possible that continuing lobbying efforts on the UPC now could backfire in the long term. Thus, much as the UK legal profession seems to be in the early stages of grief with respect to the UPC (mostly denial, but also anger, bargaining and depression), I think that it is perhaps time to start moving towards acceptance.

Pretty much all the comments are like that. People know they’re being lied to and they strike back with facts. This is very encouraging to see. Eventually Team UPC might just shut up, fearing the public embarrassment they constantly face. The use or misuse of generic pseudonyms (like “Kluwer Patent blogger”) is due to their fear of backlash. They know that they lie, but they don’t want to be held personally accountable for these lies.

To her credit, Dr. Hughes from AstraZeneca’s “legal” (as in lawsuits) team isn’t shy to put her name on her piece. She also has a Twitter account where she writes tweets like: “Lords subcommittee hear from @JuliaFlorence8 and Daniel Alexander QC of 8 New Square on the UK’s withdrawal from UPC @LordsEUCom” (linking to her article).

“This ‘hearing’ was a total and complete farce,” I told her, and it “says a lot about our political system. Please see explanation in” this article we published the same day as the farcical hearing. Dr. Hughes never responded and they have again deleted a comment that I posted in their blog, which is typical. Rose Hughes has a background in law, but maybe free speech would take another degree. These people don’t tolerate dissent, unlike the former and original "Kats" (they have all left).

Henrion wrote: “Boris will have to cross his no-CJEU redline if he ploys to the wishes of the patent litigation trolling industry. The House of Lords have only invited the litigation industry up to now, how come the other industries were not invited?”

Henrion also quoted: “EU Justice Sub-Committee Lord Morris of Aberavon writes to Minister after the UK’s withdrawal from the Unified Patent Court system was reported in the media #upc #uk https://committees.parliament.uk/download/file/?url=%2Fpublications%2F276%2Fdocuments%2F1156&slug=lmtoasunifiedpatentcourtagreement100320pdf [] UPC in UK: House of Lords wants Boris confirmation that the UK will leave…”

The comments are, as usual, better than the posts (Team UPC). Rose Hughes added: “UPDATE: The EU Justice Sub-Committee has written to the IP minister asking for clarification of the Government’s position on the UPC https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/339/eu-justice-subcommittee/news/145496/clarity-sought-on-governments-patent-court-position/” (no, it’s not about “clarification”).

As noted here and in the comments:

Patent-eligibility of software is not covered by any EU law so fortunately it would not be possible to have any CJEU judgments or referrals on that.

Daniel Alexander was referring specifically to the Biotech directive 98/44/EC not to patent eligibility generally. That directive may be complex but it is definitely niche. I would think that by IPC code, it could only theoretically be applied to a very tiny percentage of patents. It has been in force for 22 years (during which there will have been many thousands of patent cases) with barely any CJEU referrals -the Brustle case (stem cells), clarification of Brustle and Monsanto (non extracted DNA).

Henrion selctively quoted some more comments, e.g. “all non-British IP lawyers and patent attorneys will take care that access to the UPC will be barred for UK citizens one way or the other.” http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2020/03/house-of-lords-eu-subcommittee-is-uk.html … #upc #uk [] “That the CJEU will limit itself to only deal with questions not linked to substantive patent law is a hope of many UPC proponents, but nothing is less sure. If the CJEU thinks fit to decide differently than the EPO, it will do.” http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2020/03/house-of-lords-eu-subcommittee-is-uk.html?showComment=1583942528364#c1068020909440043935 … [] EU-wide iPhone ban via the UPC: “There were also concerns that innovation in the software sector may be stifled by EU wide injunctions.” http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2020/03/house-of-lords-eu-subcommittee-is-uk.html …”

It seems to have become widely accepted that UPC is neither desirable nor likely to ever materialise.

What do the most fervent Team UPC people say? Well, Rich Pinckney, who chose to quote another liar over a week ago, wrote this: (also tweeted)

The UK parliament’s House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee has reported today here that its Chair, Lord Morris of Aberavon, has written to the IP Minister, Amanda Solloway, asking whether she can confirm recent media reports that the “UK will not be seeking involvement” in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and unitary patent. The letter was written yesterday, following the Sub-Committee’s meeting in the morning – see House of Lords committee examines effect of UK not participating in UPC. The Sub-Committee notes that the government has not yet made an official statement on its position.

They keep using false narratives like “clarity”, “clarify”, and “clarification” (as if there’s something they don’t understand rather than choose not to accept). This same lie can be seen here (from Managing IP). Max says: “EU Justice Sub-Committee writes to @ASollowayUK seeking clarity on UK’s position on the #UPC. Committee says government “has yet to make an official public statement on the matter.” https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/339/eu-justice-subcommittee/news/145496/clarity-sought-on-governments-patent-court-position/ …”

Terms such as “seeking clarity” are also misused by the anti-Section 101 lobby, or pro-software patents lobby of Coons, Kappos and others. They don’t want “clarity”; they combat the law and the general public for litigation (a money hoard).

It has meanwhile emerged, as per this image/tweet of Kirsten Fiedler, Policy Advisor to an MEP (image with the word “algorithms”), that the “The EU seems to be thinking about intellectual property protections for #algorithms – an action plan has been announced in the industrial strategy: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/communication-eu-industrial-strategy-march-2020_en.pdf”

The replies include strongly-worded tweets like: “Corrupt money-driven EPO is already patenting algos, recycling their funky ‘technical effect’ https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/caselaw/2016/e/clr_i_d_9_1_8.htm … [] Germany will continue to be a patent troll paradise due to its bifurcated system, as the UPC might allow as well http://www.fosspatents.com/2020/03/german-patent-litigators-comment-on.html … #upc #germany #trolls”

The original Web pages are more gently worded. The EPO has been run by people who flagrantly break laws for about a decade. If the EU facilitates this rather than stop this (of if it does not intervene), it too will go the way of the dodo. The UPC is an EU system and the EU cannot just throw its hands in the air, saying it has nothing to do with the EPO’s dirty affairs. Remember that many of today’s EPO managers came from an EU agency, the EUIPO. It’s actually a scandal in its own right; the recruitment process is profoundly corrupt and SUEPO has begun speaking about it. This is very much an EU issue and there are UPC ‘journal’ papers about it [1].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Unified Patent Court and the frustrated promise of IP protection: Investors’ claims in (post-)Brexit Britain [via]

    Tensions between the EU’s legal order and the international investment law regime are not exclusive to the Brexit era, but they certainly gained momentum in the aftermath of this referendum. By incautiously declaring that the UK will remain a party to the Unified Patent System regardless of Brexit, the British government arguably shaped (il)legitimate expectations on the part of investors who aimed at exploiting their intellectual property rights in the UK while benefitting from the judicial protection of the forthcoming Unified Patent Court as much as of the European institutions (and market) as a whole. Indeed, not only the System itself will undergo a process of major rebalancing after London’s departure from the EU, but more importantly, the UK will most probably be unable to retain its membership in the System after the actual delivery of Brexit. These complications trigger a wide spectrum of fundamental dilemmas investing the definition and scope of concepts such as unilateral declaration, indirect expropriation, reasonable expectation, estoppel, and public policy exception, under both EU law and international investment law. It is therefore essential to explore these intersections as to anticipate possible scenarios in the event of both domestic court and international arbitral claims lodged by patent investors pre- and post-Brexit, having due regard for competition concerns on the side of the EU, yet referring to recent Canadian case law which opened the gate to investor-State claims in the field of intellectual property.

The Result of a Patent Office That Destroyed Patent Quality and Departed From the Underlying Law (Which Was Supposed to Govern and Be Enforced)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What the European Patent Office’s (EPO) results that are reported by António Campinos — and Battistelli before him — tell us is how many monopolies they granted; these results say nothing about legal validity or legitimacy of these monopolies, enshrined by gross misuse of authority and violation of the law

Patent quality collapsed. It's OK, we'll use a fine-tooth comb to come up with positive-sounding spin.

Summary: We take a close look at what the EPO has just claimed about last year’s performance and how media covered it (very shallow, almost facts-free and heavy on buzzwords)

WE will soon complete 6 years of in-depth EPO coverage. We started in summer of 2014. A lot has happened since then and many bogus European Patents have been granted since (almost always more than in prior years).

Patent examiners are smart people. They’re not so easy to bamboozle and indoctrinate. They generally know what patents really are. Patents are not just some numbers added to plastics and moulds. A patent isn’t the same thing as an invention. Surely examiners know the intricate economics of monopolies and how they shape both society and industry. There’s nothing ‘God-given’ about it and patent law will be supported by the public (popular consent) as long as it successfully justifies itself, demonstrating that it remains true to its original goals.

” There’s nothing ‘God-given’ about it and patent law will be supported by the public (popular consent) as long as it successfully justifies itself, demonstrating that it remains true to its original goals.”I myself never applied for a patent, partly because I’m a coder and partly because there’s no point to it (costs aside); it’s often an employer (i.e. a manager and some legal team) suggesting if not imposing the pursuit of patents as though they’re trophies. Corporate exclusivity is what they are.

Published the other day at “The Fish Site” as well as separately at FeedNavigator.com was information about an impending objection to a European Patent granted by the Office some time ago. To quote the former article:

BioMar is challenging a decision by an Olso court to fine it 16.5 million kroner, plus costs, for infringement of a patent held by STIM (formerly Europharma) relating to its SuperSmolt technology.

[...]

BioMar is appealing the judgement despite the fact that it does not affect the company’s right to continue to produce and sell its current product portfolio for smoltification. And two other leading feed companies have challenged STIM’s patent at the European Patent office (EPO).

There’s a lot of money at stake and the main question is, was this patent/application properly examined?

“I myself never applied for a patent, partly because I’m a coder and partly because there’s no point to it (costs aside); it’s often an employer (i.e. a manager and some legal team) suggesting if not imposing the pursuit of patents as though they’re trophies. Corporate exclusivity is what they are.”Hours ago Watchtroll published an article entitled “Federal Circuit Affirms Board Finding That Customedia Patents Are Directed to an Abstract Idea,” reminding us that loads of software patents and other dubious patents that USPTO examiners should not have granted are thrown out by higher courts like the Federal Circuit, sometimes following appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rather than lower courts. The inter partes reviews (IPRs) are having the desired effect.

It is with that in mind that we should examine the supposed “growth” at the USPTO (noted weeks ago) and EPO, based on nothing but patents granted and so-called ‘demand’ (for easy-to-get monopolies, even if courts later undo these monopolies). This isn’t manufacturing, it’s just paperwork.

The remainder of this post strives to be an almost exhaustive literature (or media) review, based on the so-called ‘results’ of the EPO. Since everything boils down to puff pieces we shall look at things from a sceptical and independent eye. We’ve found not a single article that we can recommend as everything just ‘reads from the script’ of EPO press releases/announcements. We’ve become accustomed to that.

Let’s ask ourselves a simple question and go back to the basic, OK?

What is the EPO? It’s an office staffed by Europeans.

“It is with that in mind that we should examine the supposed “growth” at the USPTO (noted weeks ago) and EPO, based on nothing but patents granted and so-called ‘demand’ (for easy-to-get monopolies, even if courts later undo these monopolies).”Does it also work for Europeans?

That’s debatable.

Companies that are not even European get a 'fast lane'. Who is this system for then? Maybe it’s more of a class thing than a regional thing. Many suspect so and there are facts or evidence on their side.

A few days ago the EPO wrote: “These were the most active companies in terms of patenting at the EPO in 2019.”

Go ahead and count how many of these are based in Europe. Go ahead…

The press release said, in the title: “Demand for European patent protection from UK inventors and companies continues to rise” (but this one is tailored for the UK as if the system exists in a vacuum and British companies face no risks from it; it’s a double-edged sword).

“Go ahead and count how many of these are based in Europe. Go ahead…”Here’s the Irish puff piece along with another, which was retweeted by the EPO. It is one of two Irish puff pieces we were able to locate; articles like these ones won’t tell readers that the EPO just lowered the patent(ing) bar, granting illegal patents. Actually fact-checking and doing analysis would not be part of ‘the script’. The headlines are “Medical and computer technologies drivers of growth for Irish patent applications at the European Patent Office” and “Patent applications filed from Republic at record high,” but what’s clearly missing here is a yardstick not cherry-picked by the EPO itself.

Telecompaper later published this article to say: “The EPO Patent Index 2019 shows a jump in patent applications in the fields of digital communications (+19.6%) and computer technology (up 10.2%).”

Notice those domains/disciplines; they’re being shrewd with words. Watchtroll’s James Nurton went with “EPO Applications Up 4%, Led by Digital Communication and Computer Technology” and another Watchtroll article had the headline “Huawei Tops EU Patent Applicants,” (EU???) revealing the weak fact-checking processes at Watchtroll. It’s just pure propaganda and they’re notoriously connected to EPO management.

Another new headline , this one from Law360, said “US Cos. Again Lead European Patent Filers Thanks To AI, 5G” (the EPO’s overuse and misuse of silly hype waves like “5G” show that the EPO is nowadays run by rather clueless people).

“The considerable majority of European Patents don’t even go to Europe.”When EPO managers and Law360 say “hey hi” (AI) they mean illegal software patents that the EPO should be suspended for abusively granting in defiance of the EPC. Notice how focused they are on the US and Huawei (China) rather than Europe. The considerable majority of European Patents don’t even go to Europe. To quote the portion outside the paywall: “Companies and inventors based in the United States were once again the top applicants for European patents in 2019, with new growth spurred by 5G and artificial intelligence technologies, according to data released Thursday by the European Patent Office. About a quarter of the 181,406 patent applications submitted to the EPO in 2019 were from U.S. filers, with United Technologies, Qualcomm and General Electric leading the pack. The EPO noted particular growth in the areas of computer technology, which includes many AI-related inventions, and digital communications, like those involving 5G.”

Seems to be good for few American billionaires, who call their software “AI-related inventions,” having capitalised on bogus guidelines from António Campinos, the man who like his appointer never wrote a single line of code and just name-drops buzzwords to compensate for it.

One Dutch site which uses English as its language said “Dutch rank 4th in EPO patent applications” (applications, not grants) and World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), nowadays a megaphone of EPO propaganda, spoke of “AI patents” (it’s even in the headline). “Hey hi” (AI) just means software patents or illegal patents that the EPO should not be granting (but examiners are being forced to grant anyway). These numbers are in some sense faked numbers, based on the violation of underlying laws. EPO policy nowadays mimics China’s. Patent scope likewise and alike.

“These numbers are in some sense faked numbers, based on the violation of underlying laws. EPO policy nowadays mimics China’s.”And speaking of China, the EPO wrote: “The increase in applications at the EPO in 2019 was mainly fuelled by the strong increase in filing volumes from China, the US and South Korea…” (not Europe)

This was accompanied by puff pieces such as “Huawei applies for most patents in Europe” and “EPO: Huawei tops 2019 patent application ranking” (Taiwan News, but it is just Deutsche Welle (DW) reprinted). DW (English) did no actual investigation. Nothing.

What we see here is the “European” (by name) Patent Office working against Europeans (more risk of lawsuits from foreign nations, conglomerates and trolls). The above-mentioned article from the US attributes the growth to software patents. “Thanks To AI,” said the headline, or in other words thanks to illegal algorithm monopolies that the Office illegally granted. “The EPO noted particular growth in the areas of computer technology, which includes many AI-related inventions, and digital communications,” it said.

Illegal patents and fake patents make up much of the “growth”. Also non-European applications.

“The Germans are made to think that it’s a win for Germany, the Brits think that it’s good for Britain and Irish media celebrates this as some sort of achievement for Ireland (not just lawyers stationed there).”But retweeted by the EPO in German was a misleading narrative like this one. The Germans are made to think that it’s a win for Germany, the Brits think that it’s good for Britain and Irish media celebrates this as some sort of achievement for Ireland (not just lawyers stationed there). Fake growth in monopolies isn’t something to be cheered for. Collapse of patent quality is something to be condemned.

Also retweeted by the EPO was this nonsense (article that parrots EPO talking points) composed by a patent maximalist, Susan Decker, whom we mentioned here before. “Huawei increases its footprint in Europe,” it said, “filing more patent applications there than any other company last year…”

What’s for Europe to gain from it?

Separately, retweeted by EPO PR people was this CIPA tweet that said: “The @EPOorg has reported growth of nearly 7% in UK applications in 2019.”

Notice how they try to make it sound like a British achievement. Lawyers in London know it may mean more business (litigation) for them. The Office lowered patent quality, broke the law, granted illegal patents and now these thugs from CIPA are celebrating this. Even invalid patents is something they’d make money from; this is why they love the abuses of the EPO. Today’s EPO works for the litigation maniacs, not for actual inventors.

“Lawyers in London know it may mean more business (litigation) for them.”Who needs substance when all one needs is a bunch of buzzwords and lawsuits?

This tweet retweeted by the EPO spoke of “#5G and #AI as drivers of growth” [sic] (fake patents for fake growth) and the EPO itself tweeted: “Digital communication saw the strongest growth in #patent applications in 2019 (+19.6% over 2018), overtaking #medtech (+0.9%), which had been the most patent-active technology since 2006.”

The whole thing is being summed up using buzzwords like “medtech”, along with other terms we explained here before. The names are deliberately genetic enough to encompass things well outside scope of patenting.

The initial tweet, citing the official page (warning: epo.org link), said: “The #EPOPatentIndex 2019 is out! A new all-time high in demand for patent protection (4% growth) & #digitaltechnologies take the lead in applications filed at the EPO Full details…”

Guess what they mean by #digitaltechnologies (the new “CII”).

It’s a patent-printing operation of abstract patents. “According to the EPO Patent Index 2019,” says the official page, “the surge in the fields of digital communication (+19.6%) and computer technology (+10.2%) is fuelling the sustained growth in patent filings”

“They drive (or crash) the Office right into the ground.”So now it becomes “computer technology” and “digital communication” (very generic).

To better understand how those patents get granted one might wish to see internal leaks like this one of Roberto Vacca.

No wonder examiners are so upset; they’re not doing proper examination anymore, instead chasing quotas and targets to maintain fake growth for fake leaders and their cabel of unqualified friends. They drive (or crash) the Office right into the ground.

Lost in Corona: Dutch Court Rules That Seat Agreement Signed Between the EPO and the Dutch Government Violates Article 45 TFEU

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) and EPO staff will soon learn about another fundamental breach of law where the highest court refuses to enforce the law against the EPO’s management

THE DUTCH government, already battling with an epidemic-turned-pandemic, saw issued an important decision on Friday — a decision in which a Dutch court “cancelled the deal between the Dutch gov and the EPO, something that divided greatly SUEPO and FFPE,” we’ve learned.

“There’s no word/message from SUEPO just yet (at least nothing public).”Benjamin Henrion (FFII) said that “this was a topic that was dividing SUEPO and FFPE,” taking note of the yellow old union (a branch of FFPE, friendly towards Battistelli), adding that “Article 45 TFEU is freedom of movement for workers” and “[t]he Dutch Hoge Raad has now officially confirmed: the Seat Agreement signed in 2006 by EPO with the NL Government violates Article 45 TFEU.”

I cannot remark about it myself (nothing informed to say just yet), but our Dutch-speaking IRC regulars have looked into it because the page is in Dutch. We are led to “guess FFPE will put out a press release on this,” according to Henrion. There’s no word/message from SUEPO just yet (at least nothing public). SUEPO The Hague’s subsite has not been updated so far this year.

Links 15/3/2020: ikona 1.0, Shortwave’s First Stable Release; Let’s Encrypt, Jim Meyering, and Clarissa Lima Borges Receive FSF Awards

Posted in News Roundup at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Kubernetes is ‘still hard’ so VMware has gone all-in on container-related tech with expanded Tanzu, vSphere 7

        VMware has followed through on its promise to make vSphere capable of managing both virtual machines and Kubernetes (K8s) clusters by announcing version 7 of vSphere and a plethora of other container-related tech it hopes will give developers a consistent layer of services to let them go crazy with containers.

      • VMware Deepens Commitment to Kubernetes

        VMware today announced it has advanced its Kubernetes strategy by making available its previously announced Tanzu platform to manage any Kubernetes distribution as well as making a Java application development environment based on the Spring framework, formerly known as the Pivotal Application Service (PAS), available on Tanzu. In addition, PAS has been renamed Tanzu Application Service (TAS).

      • Juniper Drives Kubernetes Into the Networking Conversation News

        Juniper wants to help enterprises adopt container and Kubernetes technologies. There’s just one problem: containers still aren’t part of the conversation for most network companies.

        Scott Sneddon, senior director and evangelist for cloud at Juniper, told SDxCentral that the vendor has a twofold strategy to address multiple orchestration and enterprise challenges in Kubernetes as telecommunication architectures migrate into the cloud-native space. He explained that multi-cloud doesn’t necessarily mean multiple public clouds, but a mix of VMware infrastructure, bare metal assets, or OpenStack components.

        “Supporting Kubernetes is really important for that vision in that we expect that a lot of our customers, especially our enterprise customers, are going to be trying to tackle that multiple orchestrator challenge,” Sneddon said. “If we can bring some level of consistency and simplicity in that environment, we think we can add some value and have a benefit.”

      • HPE Plunges Into Red Hot Kubernetes Market
      • HPE Says Kubernetes Runs Better on Bare Metal
      • HPE Container Platform: Unified container platform built on open source Kubernetes

        The HPE Container Platform is the industry’s first enterprise-grade container platform designed to support both cloud-native and non-cloud-native applications using 100 percent open source Kubernetes – running on bare-metal or virtual machines (VMs), in the data center, on any public cloud, or at the edge.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 149

        Solid releases from GNOME and Firefox, bad news for custom Android ROM users, and a new container distro from Amazon.

        Plus Mozilla and KaiOS team up to bring the modern web to feature phones, and the surprising way Microsoft is shipping a Linux kernel.

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Neofetch update 7.0 can show more information – bupskel and ArcoLinux Tweak Tool

        Content of the video

        we no longer have the ArcoLinux version in neofetch
        we learn why bupskel can be interesting
        do a bupskel before and after the update and then do a meld with these two new folders
        first do a skel to get the new config in your home directory
        or only copy/paste over the content of
        new : memory expressed in percentage
        new : show de version
        new : used disk in percentage
        we show you how to display the logo of another distro with neofetch –ascii_distro …
        we show you the difference between the three neofetch files in ~/.config/neofetch
        sysinfo still shows your ArcoLinux version
        cat /etc/lsb-release will also show your version
        we will show you how to use a logo

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • MangoHud, the excellent Linux overlay layer adds OpenGL support in addition to Vulkan

        A huge update for the Linux overlay layer, MangoHud, as it can now work with OpenGL games in addition to Vulkan making it many times more useful and awesome.

        Quick reminder: MangoHud can show useful information on top of games like: FPS, RAM/VRAM use, disk reads, frame timings, temperatures, it can benchmark and a whole lot more.

        Today, they released MangoHud 0.3.0 and the headline feature is it now supporting OpenGL so it’s not locked to Vulkan now. Additionally you can now just use the “mangohud” command to load either the OpenGL or Vulkan HUD and “mangohud.x86″ for 32bit OpenGL. So try it you can just do “mangohud vkcube” or “mangohud glxgears” and “MANGOHUD=1″ also still works for Vulkan.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive hits over 1 million online, Steam breaks user records again

        Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve’s free to play competitive shooter which also features the newer Danger Zone mode which is like a Battle Royale has today hit over a million players online.

        We’ve seen it hit a few peak player milestones recently, like February where it did it two days in a row. Valve’s CS:GO team sent out a Twitter post, which amusingly just said “Thanks a million.” which is how we found out.

        This is actually the first time it’s done it, and it really is a huge milestone considering it’s been out since 2012 although it only went free back in 2018. Also, it’s only the third game on Steam to ever hit over a million players online with the others being Dota 2 and PUBG.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • ikona 1.0

          this is where Ikona’s meat lies—the application icon view. it displays application icons at a pixel-perfect size in an environment similar to a Plasma desktop.

          by default, it just shows Ikona’s icon. the real meat is when you press “Create Icon.” this exports a special type of SVG with the suffix .ikona.app.svg. Ikona can process these SVGs to produce multiple sizes of the same icon from one SVG file, making wrangling with multiple sizes of icon simple.

          saving the icon will cause Ikona to instantly update its preview of the icon.

          once you’re done designing your icon, you use the export screen to export your icon.

        • Scaling Barcodes in KF5::Prison

          In the past couple of days I tried to finally address an issue in KDE Itinerary where UIC 918.3 train tickets could be rendered in a way that they weren’t accepted by the scanner. That turned into a journey into the depths of high DPI rendering inside KDE Frameworks’ barcode rendering library Prison.

        • This week in KDE: polishing the System Tray and more

          Lots of work has being done this weke to polish up the Plasma System Tray, both visually and functionally. See the overarching visual task at https://phabricator.kde.org/T10470. Lots more interesting work is in progress but not yet done, such as an effort to use the same UI component in System Tray items rather than having each one re-invent the wheel. That’s not done yet but should hopefully make it for Plasma 5.19.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Shortwave – First stable release

          Today, after nearly two years of development I’m very proud to say: The first stable version of Shortwave is now available! I have put a lot of time and effort into this project, now it is finally time to make it available for everyone :-).

        • Shortwave Sees First Stable Release As GNOME Internet Radio Player

          After being in development for two years, GNOME Shortwave has seen its first stable release shortly after this week’s GNOME 3.36 desktop debut.

          Shortwave is a GTK-based Internet radio player that supports tuning into more than twenty-five thousand stations. Shortwave supports the automatic recording of songs, streaming via the Google Cast protocol, an adaptive interface to work across a variety of devices, and integrates nicely with the modern GNOME Shell desktop.

        • Christian Hergert: How to use Sysprof to…

          First off, before using Sysprof to improve the performance of a particular piece of software, make sure you’re compiling with flags that allow us to have enough information to unwind stack frames. Sysprof will use libunwind in some cases, but a majority of our stack unwinding is done by the Linux kernel which can currently only follow eh_frame (exception handling) information.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 32 Official Release Schedule[Latest]

          Fedora 32 Release Schedule: Here in this article, we will check out the latest update on the official Fedora 32 release schedule from Fedora Project.
          Fedora 32 Beta is scheduled to be released on March 17, 2020

        • Download & Install Fedora 32 Beta 1.2 Installation(Test Version)

          Fedora 32 Beta 1.2[Test Version]: While the stable Fedora 32 is scheduled to release on the 3rd week of April 2020, Fedora 32 Beta is currently scheduled to be released on March 17th, 2020. On the other hand, the Test versions of Fedora 32 is already available for developers and testers to test this distro. In this article, we will take you through the steps of installing the latest available test version, the Fedora 32 Beta 1.2.

        • IBM ‘Call For Code’ Challenges Software Developers To Address Climate Change

          Developers like pizza and soda (it’s a necessary fuel base combo), but they also need a purpose. This reality is being reflected in the nature of the software coding challenges that we’re currently seeing staged around the globe. Code challenges, hackfests, hackathons and app creator contests used to (before the turn of the last millennium) run with fairly open remits i.e. developers were typically challenged to ‘build something amazing’, in whatever stream they felt the need to follow.

        • OpenUK schools competition uses MiniMU Glove, Red Hat also lends a hand

          OpenUK, the open technology advocate organisation for open data, open source hardware and open source software in Britain, today announced a new competition for children at what is known as age group Key Stage 3 (11-14 years old) focused on expanding awareness open technology for society.

          The competition will be based on assembling and using MiniMU gloves, which come in a child friendly kit and are powered by BBC micro:bit devices.

          The MiniMU kit is a make-it-yourself musical glove for children aged 8 and above.

          It is based on the MiMU Gloves designed by musician Imogen Heap.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-11

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. The Beta Freeze is underway. Fedora 32 Beta is go! It will release on Tuesday, 17 March. Update your team’s release readiness status in the wiki.

          North America changed summer time this week. Did you notice? Check your meeting times and see my email to the devel list for more information.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 2 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Canonical And Ubuntu 20.04

          I recently hosted a fascinating interview with Alan Pope, Developer Advocate at Ubuntu Linux creator Canonical. To say it was a revealing conversation would be an understatement. Pope bravely fielded a variety of difficult questions, but in this article I want to highlight a couple things that truly surprised me. They are important details that matter to the entire Linux ecosystem, but Pope and I both agreed they exist well outside most people’s radars.

        • How to test out Ubuntu 20.04 LTS early

          20.04 is the upcoming Long Term Support release for Ubuntu. It is coming out in April. However, if you don’t feel like waiting till then to experience the new version, there’s a way to test it out early! Follow along to find out how!

        • Why Start your Linux Journey with Linux Mint?

          The first thing you’ll notice about Mint is how traditional their desktop layout is; A taskbar at the bottom of the screen, and a normal desktop where you can place icons, just like Windows XP, 7 and 10. This makes Linux Mint a very good option for those who are used to Windows and want to continue having that layout in the Linux world.

          What’s noticeable about Mint is that it uses the same layout regardless of the desktop environment; Linux Mint comes in 3 possible desktops: Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. But regardless of which one you choose to download, you’ll always notice that Mint is using the same layout.

          The taskbar at the bottom of the screen is also similar to the structure of the one in Windows: A start menu icon at the beginning, followed by various launchers, and then the currently opened windows, and lastly the system tray plate.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CMS

        • Open Source Alternative To Salesforce : Crust CRM

          Ireland based Crust Technologies is building a full open source alternative to Salesforce CRM. Crust CEO, Niall McCarthy explains why he created his company around open source solitons to take on Salesforce.

      • FSF

        • Let’s Encrypt, Jim Meyering, and Clarissa Lima Borges receive FSF’s 2019 Free Software Awards

          This year’s winner is Clarissa Lima Borges, a talented young Brazilian software engineering student whose Outreachy internship work focused on usability testing for various GNOME applications. Presenting the award was Alexandre Oliva, acting co-president of the FSF and a longtime contributor to crucial parts of the GNU operating system. Clarissa said that she is “deeply excited about winning this award — this is something I would never have imagined,” and emphasized her pride in helping to make free software more usable for a broader base of people who need “more than ever to be in control of the software [they] use, and [their] data.” She also emphasized that her accomplishments were dependent on the mentoring she received as part of Outreachy and GNOME: “Every time I thought I had something good to offer the community, I was rewarded with much more than I expected from people being so kind to me in return.”

          The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, to intentionally and significantly benefit society. This award stresses the use of free software in service to humanity. Past recipients of the award include OpenStreetMap and Public Lab, whose executive director, Shannon Dosemagen, will be delivering a keynote for the 2020 LibrePlanet conference on Sunday.

        • LibrePlanet day 1: Can free software carry an entire online conference? Yes, it can!

          Sometimes, all of your best-laid plans can go awry, and when COVID-19 collided with LibrePlanet 2020, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) staff and management had to make an incredibly tough decision: how were we to weigh the risk of a spreading pandemic against our most important yearly event? Within the space of a week, we had to change course from months of scrupulous planning and figure out how to ensure that our carefully-composed program could move forward, giving the worldwide free software community access to the experts, creators, and enthusiasts we had planned to bring together in Boston. We were incredibly excited to present this slate of free software luminaries and newcomers, all eager to discuss what it will take to “Free the Future,” and we weren’t about to let all of that effort go to waste.

          Thankfully, free software activists aren’t afraid of a little adversity, and are accustomed to taking on challenges. In only a few days, we fully shifted gears to deliver the LibrePlanet 2020 program remotely, with online talks streaming in from all over the world. We’re so grateful to our speakers, who have been so flexible, and to the last-minute benefactors that volunteered to help fill any gaps that might ensue. All this allowed us to present you with a nearly full program for the event!

        • new dawn

          In the end, I did not get a speaking slot for 0G, the slot before the awards was not given to me because “it used to be Richard’s not because he was president of the FSF, but because he’s Richard”, Richard got neither an award nor a speaking slot, and the article was not taken up by the FSF.

          I guess this means I can publish it on my own, and mention it on IRC to virtual attendants at the first fully-online LibrePlanet.

          As for the awards, Richard did get to present the award for the Advancement of Free Software to Jim Meyering, and I introduced the Outstanding New Free Software Contributor Clarissa Lima Borges. Thanks to Jim and Clarissa for choosing us. Congratulations to both, and to Let’s Encrypt, the awarded Project of Social Benefit.

        • A New Dawn for Software Freedom

          January, 2020, marked the sunset of two very popular software platforms. Users of both have long been warned in advance and extended support is available, but nevertheless many users felt compelled to upgrade. Such helplessness is common in non-free software, but free software users have autonomy. How could it feel the same?

          Windows 7 is non-free, so the vendor knows they can corral users away from it, unless they heed our call to liberate it, which would enable communities to keep on maintaining it independently, just as Python 2 ones can, and indeed some have.

          Whether twelve years are long enough to leave a programming language behind, and whether there are good enough reasons to do so are debatable (GCC maintains support for popular languages from the 1970′s) but also besides the point: free software users always have an alternative to taking commands from a vendor.

        • FSFE

          • Handling attacks on volunteers and their families

            Over the years, volunteers have done a lot to promote and contribute to free and open source software and the organizations/communities in this space. The leaders are not the only ones doing this work. Many people are quietly doing far more work than the leaders of some free software organizations.

            In 2017, the now defunct FSFE Fellowship, which consisted of approximately 1,500 Fellows, voted for me to be their community representative. Not only did I have to represent those who voted for me, but also those who voted for other candidates. I also discovered that I was representing a Fellow who died leaving a EUR 150,000 bequest. Although I was only a volunteer, I took all those responsibilities seriously.

            I didn’t realize this at the beginning but representing the interests of donors and volunteers put me in opposition to some people who had not previously had to deal with the same level of committment from a community representative. The type of people who paid themselves salaries and took long periods of paternity leave after receiving that bequest.

            Around that time, I was also dealing with some incredibly tragic circumstances in my family life. I resigned from some of my roles, for example, being a Google Summer of Code admin in Debian. Thanks to the never-ending creativity of open source politics, people immediately started rather offensive lies trying to connect me to trolling or even suggesting that I was expelled. It isn’t coincidence when people say things like that about somebody elected by the volunteers. My only mistake was joining the FSFE in the first place.

            In September 2018, Debian’s leader (DPL) Chris Lamb had the Debian Account Managers move my key from the DD keyring to the inferior DM keyring.

            They wanted me to feel humiliated.

            They wanted me to continue contributing to Debian, but under their coercive control. You can see the entry on 20 September 2018 when I was moved from the DD to the DM keyring, not expelled.

            The thing is, my responsibility is to my employer and clients. By exercising this control over me, those co-conspirators aspired to have the power of an employer without actually paying me.

            In other words, they wanted me to be their slave and their puppet.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • OpenStreetMap: A Community-Driven Google Maps Alternative

            You need to sign up for an account first – in order to be able to edit or add information to the OpenStreetMap. To view the map, you wouldn’t need an account.

            Even though it’s a free-to-use map under an open data license, you cannot use the map API to build another service on top of it for commercial purpose.

            So, you can download the map data to use it and host it yourself while mentioning the credits to OSM. You can learn more about its API usage policy and copyright information on its official website to learn more.

            In this article, we shall take a brief look at how it works and what kind of projects use OpenStreetMaps as the source of their map data.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppAPT 0.0.6

          A new version of RcppAPT – our interface from R to the C++ library behind the awesome apt, apt-get, apt-cache, … commands and their cache powering Debian, Ubuntu and the like – is now on CRAN.

          RcppAPT allows you to query the (Debian or Ubuntu) package dependency graph at will, with build-dependencies (if you have deb-src entries), reverse dependencies, and all other goodies. See the vignette and examples for illustrations.

          This new version corrects builds failures under the new and shiny Apt 2.0 release (and the pre-releases like the 1.9.* series in Ubuntu) as some header files moved around. My thanks to Kurt Hornik for the heads-up. I accomodated the change in the (very simple and shell-based) configure script by a) asking pkg-config about the version of pkg-apt and then using that to b) compare to a ‘threshold value’ of ‘1.9.0’ and c) setting another compiler #define if needed so that d) these headers could get included if defined. The neat part is that a) and b) are done in an R one-liner, and the whole script is still in shell. Now, CRAN being CRAN, I now split the script into two: one almost empty one not using bash that passes the ‘omg but bash is not portable’ test, and which calls a second bash script doing the work.

        • Python

        • Rust

          • Rust-Based Redox OS Working On Pkgar For Package Management

            It’s been a while since having news on Redox OS as the Rustlang-written open-source operating system. But it turns out that’s been due to Jeremy Soller being busy working on Pkgar as a new package management format for the operating system.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • How Technology Can Combat the Rising Tide of Fake Science

        Science gets a lot of respect these days. Unfortunately, it’s also getting a lot of competition from misinformation. Seven in 10 Americans think the benefits from science outweigh the harms, and nine in 10 think science and technology will create more opportunities for future generations. Scientists have made dramatic progress in understanding the universe and the mechanisms of biology, and advances in computation benefit all fields of science.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • We’re Winding Down the War on Weed — But Not Fast Enough

        Crystal Munoz gave birth as a federal prisoner. She had just one night to hold her newborn before she was taken back to the holding facility. Crystal screamed and cried. An officer demanded she calm down. After that, she kept crying, but quietly.

      • Viral Tap
      • Russia confirms its 47th case of coronavirus

        The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia has reached 47, after two more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Kemerovo, according to local health officials. Both patients are now under observation at an infectious diseases hospital. Additionally, another person in Novokuznetsk has been hospitalized with symptoms resembling coronavirus. If this individual tests positive for the disease, it would be Russia’s 48th case of COVID-19.

      • Does the Coronavirus Crisis Have to End with a Wealthier Wealthy?

        This time around, let’s use the power of the public purse to reduce inequality.

      • Moscow schools start rolling out ‘flexible attendance’ and remote learning policies to fight coronavirus spread

        On March 14, following a meeting of Russia’s federal coronavirus task force, the Education Ministry advised school officials across the country to transfer students to remote learning “as appropriate.” Later that day, officials in the capital and the Moscow region introduced flexible attendance at public schools in the area.

      • Moscow hospitals suspend all visitation

        Health Department hospitals in Moscow have temporarily closed to all visitors, in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, members of the capital’s emergency task force told the news agency Interfax.

      • Trump Minimizing and Sugarcoating Coronavirus Perils; Bernie Must Continue Campaign

        Bernie needs to continue his campaign to the Party’s convention. Just like Jesse Jackson did in 1984 and Ronald Reagan did in 1976.

      • The Public Lab That Could Have Helped Fight COVID-19 Pandemic
      • To Help Stem Coronavirus, Lift Sanctions on Iran

        The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is far from the first proof of how intertwined we are as a global community. The climate crisis and the refugee crisis have long been glaring examples that the wars or CO2 emissions on one continent risk the lives and well-being of people on another continent. What coronavirus is providing, however, is a unique opportunity to look specifically at how the intentional damage caused to one country’s healthcare system can make it harder for the entire world to address a pandemic.

      • As COVID-19 Fears Mount, a Face Mask Shortage Imperils Research

        For Kim West, dressing for work doesn’t end at home. After arriving at her office at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, West will often layer a second outfit over her shirt and slacks: a full-body gown, topped with booties, sleeve protectors, two pairs of gloves, a hairnet, and an N95 respirator. Donning this extravagant getup — designed to guard against the dangerous and often airborne pathogens she studies — has become second nature for West, who long ago lost track of the sheer amount of protective gear she cycles through each year.

      • Russian Orthodox Church will not cancel services to help fight spread of coronavirus

        The Russian Orthodox Church says it will not close churches or cancel religious services to help fight the spread of coronavirus, though a spokesman for the organization told the television network Rossiya-24 that the church will consider additional protective measures, including limiting attendance on a case-by-case basis in coordination with health officials.

      • Racist Attacks and Border Militarization Intensify as Coronavirus Spreads

        Three weeks ago – which, in coronavirus time seems an eternity – when many still thought the virus was mainly a problem in China, a group of Ukrainian villagers stoned a bus carrying Ukrainian evacuees from China to their place of quarantine. They were terrified that the evacuees would bring the new plague into their villages, and they responded with violence.

      • Russia confirms its 59th coronavirus case, with 14 new infections in the past 24 hours

        Russia recorded 14 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 59. The new positive test results include nine patients in Moscow, two in the Kemerovo region, one outside Moscow, one in St. Petersburg, and one in the Kaliningrad region. All of these individuals returned from trips to Europe in the past two weeks. These people are now hospitalized and in isolation.

      • Lining up for coronavirus kisses The Russian Orthodox Church isn’t shutting its doors or using clean spoons, despite a global pandemic
      • Medicare for All Would Transform the Labor Market for the Better

        A Medicare for All health care system would create millions of new jobs despite critics’ concerns that it would cause widespread job losses by eliminating the private insurance industry, according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

      • Paid Sick Leave Loopholes: ‘There’s a Giant Hole in Pelosi’s Coronavirus Bill’

        “In fact, the bill guarantees sick leave only to about 20 percent of workers.”

      • Trump Is Running a Pandemic Response like a Business — with Disastrous Results

        One of the most tired cliches in conservative politics is that we should run government like a business. Donald Trump’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic is a perfect demonstration of how pernicious that philosophy can be when applied to governance.

      • Higher Education Is Woefully Unprepared to Help Poor Students Amid Coronavirus

        New York — The minute colleges began shutting down amidst coronavirus concerns this week, researcher and author Anthony Abraham Jack worried about the many low-income students he mentors.

      • Coronavirus, Economic Networks, and Social Fabric

        Connections will be strained in the coming weeks—some of them interpersonal and local, some economic and global. It’s up to us to nourish the connections that are most essential, while finding backups for those that can no longer be relied on.

      • This Coronavirus Is Unlike Anything in Our Lifetime, and We Have to Stop Comparing It to the Flu

        As a longtime health care reporter, I see the unfolding coronavirus pandemic as representing everything I’ve read about — from the early days of epidemiology to the staggering toll of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic — but had not covered in my lifetime.

        And still, I have been caught off guard by the pushback from top elected officials and even some friends and acquaintances who keep comparing it to the flu.

      • China may have prevented 95% of virus cases if it enacted measures after silenced whistleblower’s warning

        The study published this week by population mapping group WorldPop measured the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical interventions. The researchers examined how China isolated ill persons, quarantined exposed individuals, conducted contract tracing, restricted travel, closed schools and workplaces, and cancelled mass gatherings.

        The analysis – which has yet to be peer-reviewed – found that early case detection and contact reduction were effective in controlling the virus and combined measures can reduce transmission. They can also delay the timing and reduce the size of the epidemic’s peak, and thus buy time for healthcare preparations and drugs research.

      • Here’s how coronavirus will change what a 9-1-1 dispatcher will ask you

        With the coronavirus spreading, along with the commensurate fear, you can expect subtle but key changes in the questions you get asked when you call 9-1-1 in L.A. County these days.

        Let’s hope you don’t call often enough to recognize a change, but in addition to seeking critical information about an emergency — location, name, what is happening — dispatchers in the county and in the city of L.A. will be asking added questions.

      • John Goerzen: It Doesn’t Take Much to Make Someone’s Day

        This is so true. The examples are everywhere. Here in the United States, our federal government has been weak responding to COVID-19 — but others have stepped up. Institutions big and small across the country are following the science and closing or taking other steps to slow the spread of coronavirus, even in areas it hasn’t yet been detected, because this is the right thing to do. People are helping their neighbors, or giving up their favorite activities to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. I work for a company that’s publicly-traded on the NYSE, and it shut down all its offices globally. And kept paying the janitors and other office staff.

        Some people are in a vulnerable place today. To them: remember the helpers. There are doctors and nurses, officials, neighbors the care, everywhere.

        To those that are able: be a helper. It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day. Maybe a phone call or video call. Maybe delivering groceries to a neighbor that’s quarantined. Maybe acts of grace and understanding to the stressed people around you, trying their best to get by in the face of a lack of information and certainty. Maybe giving up some activities you enjoy, in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19, even if you personally aren’t especially vulnerable.

      • Coronavirus in Wokingham borough: the council’s emergency response

        EMERGENCY meetings and ‘thinking the unthinkable’ — the council’s leader has lifted the lid on how the coronavirus pandemic has been approached by the authority.

        Three Wokingham borough residents have been with the virus as of March 11 and several schools around the borough have taken action to deal with the potential spread of the illness.

        [...]

        This group includes the leader and deputy leader of the council, the chief executive and the deputy chief executive, directors from each department, as well as representatives from Royal Berkshire Hospital, NHS England and the local Clinical Commissioning Group.

        Leader Cllr John Halsall told the News the team has convened around ten times in response to the outbreak, sessions which are often held online through conference calls and which last for more than an hour each time.

      • Coronavirus: Elderly to be ‘shielded’ as PM seeks to equip NHS

        These include “shielding” elderly and vulnerable people – where they are kept apart from the wider population – and asking entire families to self-isolate.
        The government has faced pressure to do more to tackle the epidemic after the UK death toll rose to 21 on Saturday.
        Downing Street said it would continue to be guided by its medical experts.
        Its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) listed “shielding the vulnerable” and “household isolation” as the next steps to tackle the spread of the virus.
        The latter could see entire households told to self-isolate even if just one person falls ill.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Technical trouble spoils Joe Biden’s first ‘virtual town hall’

          The start time of Friday’s “virtual town hall” was pushed back by two hours — and then it still started 15 minutes late. As those on Zoom waited to watch, the video alternated between confused-looking Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin of Illinois, as well as Vivek Murthy, the former surgeon general and a member of a committee advising Biden on how to handle campaigning amid a pandemic.

          The event started with brief remarks from Durbin, who wasn’t visible to those watching on Zoom.

          Then Biden came on and he was visible, but no one could hear him: His audio was so choppy that it could not be understood. At one point, he stopped and restarted, but the audio problem hadn’t been solved.

        • Los Angeles Utility Accused of Cybersecurity Coverup

          The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been accused of deliberately keeping widespread gaps in its cybersecurity a secret from regulators in a large-scale coverup involving the city’s mayor.

          The allegations were made by Ardent Cyber Solutions LLC, a company hired by the Department of Water and Power (DWP) in April 2019 to perform cybersecurity work.

          In a 10-page claim filed against the city earlier this year, Ardent states that it uncovered an “extremely high number of unpatched vulnerabilities” in the company’s “corporate IT network.”

        • Apple Closes Most of Its Stores for 2 Weeks

          Apple said it would close most of its retail stores outside mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, becoming one of the first companies to take such a drastic measure to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

          The move signaled that retailers might be the next part of society to shut their doors.

        • [Attackers] had access to European electricity organization’s email server for weeks: report

          The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) said a data breach had been confined to its office network, and that no critical power systems were affected. It didn’t mention how or why the intrusion began.

          But a public analysis of a cybersecurity incident, which multiple people familiar with the matter said matches the details of the ENTSO-E breach, indicates that the attackers were communicating with the victim organization’s email server for more than a month.

        • A Mobile Voting App That’s Already in Use Is Filled With Critical Flaws

          Voatz, a mobile voting app that’s already been used in several elections in the United States, has more than a dozen critical security flaws, according to a newly released audit. The audit also shows Voatz publicly refuted an MIT report that found flaws in its app even after it received confirmation that it was accurate.

          The audit, which was prepared by cybersecurity firm Trail of Bits for Voatz and Tusk Philanthropies, which has partnered with Voatz on some of its pilot voting projects, found 48 technical vulnerabilities, 16 of which were “high-severity issues.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • EY Launches Baseline Protocol, an Open Source Initiative for the Public Ethereum Blockchain [Ed: A "protocol" is not "open source"; quit openwashing.]

              EY announced the launch of the Baseline protocol, a new package of public domain blockchain tools that will allow enterprises to build and deploy procurement and other business processes securely and privately on the public Ethereum blockchain. EY developed the Baseline protocol in cooperation with ConsenSys and Microsoft.

            • Aiven increases access to managed Apache Kafka by providing it on AWS Marketplace

              Aiven, a startup that combines the best open source technologies with cloud infrastructure, announced today that its products will be available in the AWS Marketplace, starting with Aiven for Apache Kafka. This enables customers who use AWS to simplify their procurement process when purchasing Aiven products.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The Linux Foundation Open Sources Hardware of Disaster Relief Project that Won First Call for Code Global Challenge Led by IBM

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the open source of Project OWL’s IoT device firmware inviting developers worldwide to build mesh network nodes for global emergency communications networks. Project OWL, the winner of Call for Code2018, is a cloud-based analytics tool that helps facilitate organization, whereabouts, and logistics for disaster response. The Linux Foundation’s open governance model will enable a global network of developers to accelerate the development of the mesh networks, which could help save lives following a natural disaster.

                Project OWL (Organization, Whereabouts, and Logistics)has developed mesh network of Internet of Things (IoT) devices called “DuckLinks” that can be deployed or activated in disaster areas to quickly reestablish connectivity and improve communication between first responders and civilians in need. A central portal connects to solar- and battery-powered water resistant ‘DuckLinks’ that are placed in the field to generate a Local Area Network (LAN) using a Wi-Fi captive portal powered by low frequency Long-range Radio (LoRa) connectivity. These DuckLinks provide an emergency network to all mobile devices in their perimeter, instructing people how to connect to an emergency response portal. First responders can also use analytics and data sources to build a dashboard and formulate an action plan, such as coordinating resources, learning about weather patterns, and communicating with civilians who would otherwise be cut off.

        • Security

          • The next generation of hackers may target your medical implants

            The chilling message flashed across Anya’s field of view, blurring everything else in sight. The twenty-six-year-old account executive stared and listened in horror as a malicious intruder activated her auditory cortex, simulating speech deep inside her brain. The voice was gravelly and heavily digitized.

            “Your cloud-connected neuroprosthetic has been compromised, and there’s nothing you can do about it! We now control your personal data stream. Oh, and what a stream it is! So many secrets. So many unclean thoughts. You’re lucky you were hacked by us and not someone less…tactful.

            “With the access we now have to your thoughts, we could make you do anything. Anything! You have twenty-four hours to pay $7,000 into the untraceable Cryptex account we will provide you or we will publish all of your deepest, darkest secrets for everyone to see! Ha ha ha ha! Don’t forget, we now know who your family is, and your employer, and your church, and . . .”

            The dreadful voice fizzled out, the flashing message disappeared, but Anya’s vision was still heavily blurred. A different, more tranquil voice began activating her auditory cortex.

            “Your Neurotector Anti-Intrusion Suite has been activated. Please remain calm and do not move while we complete our scan and remove any unauthorized software from your neuroprosthetic.”

            Anya breathed deeply, trying to calm her nerves. Thank heaven she had opted for neuro-protection software a year ago! The rampant increase of new cognitive hacking exploits, from false-memory droppers to this sort of snareware, made it essential.

            Anya’s vision suddenly cleared and the security software voice returned. “The intruder has been eradicated, and there are no indications of any privacy compromise through outbound transmission. All altered files and memories have been restored. Have a nice day.”

          • Linux 5.7 To Bring Mitigation For Intel Gen7 Ivybridge/Haswell “iGPU Leak”

            Back in January “iGPU Leak” was disclosed as CVE-2019-14615 as an information leakage vulnerability affecting Intel’s graphics architecture leading to both register and local memory leaks. While Intel “Gen9″ graphics were patched right away on the disclosure date and Gen8 Broadwell graphics were already mitigated, Gen7/Gen7.5 graphics took longer… In fact, not until the Linux 5.7 release this spring is there the mitigation for iGPU Leak.

            On the January disclosure date the Intel open-source developers did post Gen7/Gen7.5 patches for Ivybridge/Haswell that killed the graphics performance. Given the hefty performance hits, the patches weren’t merged to mainline.

          • Jenkins security: Latest advisory highlights more than 20 vulnerable plugins

            The maintainers of the Jenkins project have issued a security advisory that highlights vulnerabilities in more than 20 plugins for the open source automation server.

            DevOps teams are urged to check the advisory to ensure their continuous integration pipelines are not impacted by any of the flaws, and update their builds where necessary.

            Among the list of now-patched bugs is a sandbox bypass vulnerability impacting the Script Security Plugin, which has nearly 250,000 active installations.

          • How security keeps up when developers drive open source

            Technological transformation is increasingly becoming a competitive differentiator, with businesses across all sectors investing heavily in new platforms, tools, and frameworks. In response, open source has emerged as the most viable, cost-effective and leading-edge solution in enabling organisations to gain the edge in innovation.

            No longer do individual businesses need to purchase or build all the software they need in-house. Instead, developers can now benefit from and build on the work of entire development communities, harnessing their collective power instead of starting from scratch. This is enabling countless new strands of innovation and increasing the speed to market for new products.

            According to research, 69% of IT leaders deem open source as very important to an organisation’s overall enterprise infrastructure software plans. But software development wasn’t always done this way.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Moscow police use force to disperse opposition picketers outside Federal Security Service HQ

        At a demonstration against political repressions on March 14, Moscow police arrested nearly 50 protesters. Trying to navigate Russia’s strict rules on public assemblies, the activists staged a series of “one-person pickets” outside the Federal Security Service headquarters in the capital. According to the website OVD-Info, the authorities arrested 49 people, including three teenagers. The news website MBK Media reported 43 arrests, including the arrests of well-known opposition activists Sergey Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhaev, as well as 78-year-old human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov.

      • Would Joe Biden, Like Hillary Clinton, Lose to Donald Trump Over the Iraq War?

        Joe Biden’s support for the Iraq War and the key role he played as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in getting the war authorization through the Democratic-controlled Senate not only has made him unpopular within the party’s progressive wing, but has also raised serious questions regarding his electability. Biden’s decision to limit hearings prior to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force to just a day and half, stack the witness list with war supporters and block testimony by prominent war opponents; his false statements about Iraq’s military capabilities; and his defense of the invasion long after inspectors returned after finding none of the proscribed weapons — as well as his recent denials — raise disturbing questions across the ideological spectrum as to how he would conduct foreign policy as president.

      • Putin Formally Signs Off On Constitutional Changes That Allow Him To Extend Power

        The previous rules forbade him from running for a third consecutive mandate, but that changes with the provisions of the amendments, meaning he can seek a fifth overall presidential term in 2024, and conceivably a sixth in 2030.

        The Kremlin notes that Putin has not said whether or not he will run again in 2024.

        Other constitutional changes further strengthen the presidency and emphasize the priority of Russian law over international norms — a provision reflecting the Kremlin’s irritation with the European Court of Human Rights and other international bodies that have often issued verdicts against Russia.

    • Environment

      • [Old] How an Oil Spill 50 Years Ago Inspired the First Earth Day

        Forty-nine years ago, on April 22, 1970, University of Southern California students affixed a gas mask to a statue of their mascot, Tommy Trojan, and buried an engine to symbolize the fight against pollution. In Colorado, a throng of bikers swarmed the state capitol. Volunteers picked up five tons of trash in West Virginia. All across the United States, teach-ins and demonstrations for the inaugural Earth Day would go down in history as a galvanizing moment for the environmental movement. But Earth Day’s roots lie in an earlier tragedy: a gargantuan oil spill that sullied the Santa Barbara coastline and put a national spotlight on pollution.

      • ASU celebrates 50 years of Earth Day with 50 days of sustainability events

        As the world marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year, Arizona State University is taking 50 days to celebrate the beginning of the modern environmental movement. A new website lists events by and for the entire ASU community from March 12 through April 30, plus news stories, a historical timeline of Earth Day and a place to make a pledge for ASU’s Carbon Free Day on April 15, happening in conjunction with the Earth Day Festival on the Tempe campus. Visit earthmonth.asu.edu/events and scroll down for a day-by-day listing of events.

      • Economic Experts Warn Climate Crisis Could Spur Financial Crash Like 2008

        Could the climate crisis precipitate a financial crash akin to or even greater than the one in 2008? With markets currently in turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts testified Thursday that there is high risk for an even larger economic crisis absent urgent climate policy.

      • This Recession Calls for A Bigger, Greener Stimulus

        Every crisis is also an opportunity, as the saying goes, and this is especially true of historic crises like the current coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, as Kate Aranoff writes in a new piece at the New Republic, the U.S. government looks determined to squander one of the greatest opportunities presented by the economic crisis shadowing the health crisis: The chance to pass a stimulus package that moves toward the emissions goals demanded by the science of climate change.

      • Say Goodbye to Beaches: Rising Seas Are Set to Erode World’s Coastlines

        Right now, around a third of the world’s coastline is made up of sandy beaches and dunes which slope gently and softly to the sea. By the end of the century, these could make up only one-sixth of the frontier between land and ocean. Sea level rise driven by global heating could sweep half of them away.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How Authoritarianism Short-Circuits the Lizard Brain

        The GOP’s slavish groveling overrides – for once – its basic instinct for fear and panic.

      • Wowzer
      • Corporate Media Condone Destruction of Venezuela’s Voting Machines

        The vast majority of Venezuela’s voting machines were incinerated on March 7 in a fire that engulfed the main warehouse of the National Electoral Council, or CNE, outside Caracas. 

      • Delegates Process May Shift Because of COVID-14

        Top Democratic Party officials are scrambling to figure out how to handle voting by crowds at their next big event of the 2020 presidential season: the county conventions where Democratic National Convention delegates start to be named.

      • Pond hockey propaganda How Bernie Sanders’s nefarious Burlington-Yaroslavl sister cities program is still bringing Russians and Americans together in Vermont

        On March 5, the New York Times published a report and two accompanying behind-the-scenes pieces detailing efforts by Bernie Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, to establish a sister cities relationship with the city of Yaroslavl, then part of the Soviet Union. The report placed a distinct emphasis on the way Soviet officials aimed to use the relationship to promote perestroika-era government policy: In Russian, the word they used was “propaganda.” However, as current Burlington/Yaroslavl Sister Cities Program President Oliver Carling argues, “the Russian term ‘propaganda’ refers to any centrally generated message propagated to an audience. Thus, in Russian, one can refer to a public health campaign against smoking as ‘anti-smoking propaganda’ without pejorative connotation.” He did acknowledge, however, that “to be sure, Soviet and U.S. officials, including President Ronald Reagan, hoped that sister city relationships would serve as positive PR – propaganda in the Russian sense – and contribute to understanding and more peaceful relations.” To learn how the red scare of citizen diplomacy continues to scourge present-day Vermont, Meduza asked Carling to describe the most recent collaboration between Burlington and Yaroslavl: A traditional pond hockey tournament attended by the Bears, an amateur Yaroslavl hockey team.

      • Will He Get A Second Term?

        This isn’t a pipe dream. We already beat the liar-in-chief by 2.8 million votes in 2016. And the 2018 elections had the highest turnout of any midterm election since 1914 – handing House Republicans their most resounding defeat in decades. People are outraged – and we must keep fighting.If we come together, we will prevail.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • This Virtual Library in Minecraft Gives a Voice to Censored Journalists

        “Inside, you can find articles and information about the journalists that are being censored in their own countries,” said Robert-Jan Blonk, senior interactive producer at production company MediaMonks, which helped build the library, in an interview with Fast Company. “We share these stories through the books that live in that library, and people can just openly read them, because even in the countries… where these journalists are from, you’re able to play Minecraft.”

        The massive digital library — which contains more than 12.5 million Minecraft blocks, and took 24 builders from 16 different countries over 250 hours to design and build — houses real articles written by five journalists from censored countries including Russia, Mexico, Egypt, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia, providing unblocked news to readers through a savvy internet loophole.

      • The truth about coronavirus is scary. The global war on truth is even scarier.

        Over the next several weeks, China would go on to arrest or detain hundreds of people under the auspices of fighting misinformation. Other countries soon joined in, using existing laws that ban the sharing of “fake news” to impose tight control over the flow of information. In some cases, these laws have been used to go after people selling dangerous falsehoods like the promise of miracle cures. But in many instances, doctors and journalists are the ones being targeted as governments fight to maintain control of the narrative about an outbreak that they couldn’t control.

        At a time when access to accurate information can be a matter of life or death, draconian restrictions on speech — even those that target falsehoods and conspiracy theories — threaten to scare people into silence and disrupt the flow of crucial health information, said David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and a clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Chelsea Manning Is Free From Jail, Faces Exorbitant Fines

        On March 12, prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia ended the grand jury of Julian Assange and Wikileaks in which Chelsea Manning refused to testify. As a result, US District Court Judge Anthony Trenga ordered the immediate release of Chelsea Manning.

      • Two journalists detained over report on coronavirus in Antalya

        The two journalists were reportedly questioned over a report they published on Coronavirus in the city and accused of “causing people to panic and publishing reports on coronavirus outside the knowledge of authorities”.

        Both Özyol and Küçükaydın were released after giving their statements and the news article in question, titled ‘Coronavirus case in Demre’ was removed from the online platform.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

        A wall is being erected around the nation, too – an outer perimeter, separating the United States from the Third World. So far, our national wall extends along only sixty-four miles of the nearly two-thousand-mile border with Mexico, but Congress has appropriated funds for lengthening it and also fortifying it.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix Talks Up SVT-AV1 Video Encode/Decode Effort

        Netflix also hopes more people will begin experimenting with SVT-AV1 for research or other purposes, “Our hope is that the SVT-AV1 codebase helps further adoption of AV1 and encourages more research and development on top of the current AV1 tools. We believe that the demonstrated advantages of SVT-AV1 make it a good platform for experimentation and research. We invite colleagues from industry and academia to check out the project on Github, reach out to the codebase maintainers for questions and comments or join one of the SVT-AV1 Open Dev meetings. We welcome more contributors to the project.”

      • SVT-AV1: open-source AV1 encoder and decoder [Ed: Netflix is openwashing its DRM infection on the Web]

        SVT-AV1 is an open-source AV1 codec implementation hosted on GitHub https://github.com/OpenVisualCloud/SVT-AV1/ under a BSD + patent license. As mentioned in our earlier blog post, Intel and Netflix have been collaborating on the SVT-AV1 encoder and decoder framework since August 2018. The teams have been working closely on SVT-AV1 development, discussing architectural decisions, implementing new tools, and improving compression efficiency. Since open-sourcing the project, other partner companies and the open-source community have contributed to SVT-AV1. In this tech blog, we will report the current status of the SVT-AV1 project, as well as the characteristics and performance of the encoder and decoder.

    • Monopolies

      • Spring budget: Chancellor announces additional funding for IP centres [Ed: Monopolies require their mass indoctrination to justify and sell to the general public]
      • Trademarks

        • Call for entries to DesignEuropa Awards 2020

          Organised every two years by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the DesignEuropa Awards has two categories that are now open for applications and nominations: the Small and Emerging Companies Award and Industry Award.

      • Copyrights

        • Facing the AI Copyright Conundrum

          “Patent practitioners and others in the world of intellectual property have expended significant time and money seeking to protect innovation in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). But what happens when an AI tries to patent something itself?” Michael Rosen asks in a recent AEIdeas blog post. “Will such an event be possible? If so, who would be named as the inventor? And who would own the rights to the invention?”

          AI has already changed business practices, online searching, and innovation and invention. AI computer programming and other technological systems can simulate human intelligence, are programmed to think like humans, and do things generally associated with humans, such as learning and problem-solving.

          [...]

          In December 2019, WIPO issued a nine-page document on AI and intellectual property policy. It asked for comments on such topics as deepfakes, who is the “inventor” and the “owner” of AI products, and what protection might exist for anything autonomously developed by AI. WIPO sees this as the first step in a dialogue on AI and legal protections across the globe.

          In January 2020, the European Patent Office (EPO) rejected two patent applications that named AI as the inventor. In a press release, the EPO says it “considered that the interpretation of the legal framework of the European patent system leads to the conclusion that the inventor designated in a European patent must be a natural person. The Office further noted that the understanding of the term inventor as referring to a natural person appears to be an internationally applicable standard, and that various national courts have issued decisions to this effect.”

        • There’s Something Fishy Going on with Australia’s Piracy Numbers

          The Australian Government recently reported that local piracy rates had been slashed in half over a period of 12 months. While this impressive drop was music to the ears of copyright holders, a closer inspection of the data shows that something is not quite right, or potentially, very wrong.

        • Serious Copyright Infringers Face Up to Six Years in Prison Under New Swedish Law

          A draft law in Sweden envisions much tougher penalties for serious copyright infringement. Under current rules, sentences carry fines and/or prison terms up to a maximum of two years. Under the new proposals, serious copyright-related crimes would be treated more harshly, with prison sentences starting at six months and going all the way to a maximum of six years.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 14, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:56 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Infringing the Fundamental Laws in the Name of Combating Infringements

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO will tackle corruption by promoting facilitators of corruption

Summary: When heads of the legal department of the EPO flout a law or two (having massively flouted conventions) what does that say about its moral authority?

EPO Corruption Under António Campinos: Part 4 – The Role of the EPO Vice-President of DG5 (Christoph Ernst)

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Law, Patents at 1:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO entry request
The EPO‘s form no. 52300 for requesting entry onto the list of professional representatives

Summary: Team Campinos/Battistelli at the European Patent Office continues to facilitate law-breaking, which can be traced back to the head of “(Il)Legal Affairs”

In order to have one’s name entered on the list of professional representatives before the European Patent Office, it’s necessary to submit a request to the EPO. (warning: epo.org link, clicking can aid spying/IP harvesting by the Office)

“As can be seen from the form, the request is processed by Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under the responsibility of the Vice President of International and Legal Affairs (VP5).”This is normally done using the official form no. 52300. As can be seen from the form, the request is processed by Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under the responsibility of the Vice President of International and Legal Affairs (VP5).

From 1 January 2011 until the end of 2018, this position was held by Raimund Lutz, former head of the German delegation to the Administrative Council.

Lutz and Christoph Ernst of EPO
Lutz (l.) with his protégé Ernst at a junket organised by the German Federal Patent court (2011)

According to EPO insiders, Lutz who was in charge of the EPO’s legal department between 2011 and 2018 was one of the most ruthless internal facilitators of the Battistelli regime.

“According to EPO insiders, Lutz who was in charge of the EPO’s legal department between 2011 and 2018 was one of the most ruthless internal facilitators of the Battistelli regime.”Externally, Battistelli also received vital support from the German delegation on the Administrative Council headed by Lutz’s successor in that role, Dr Christoph Ernst, at that time a senior official and ministerial advisor at the German Federal Ministry of Justice.

With hindsight it seems clear that Ernst was already being carefully groomed by “Team Battistelli” as the most promising successor to Lutz in the role of EPO Vice-President in charge of Legal and International Affairs.

In the meantime, in October 2017, Ernst enjoyed an unexpected “promotion” to the position of Administrative Council Chairman. He was parachuted into this position as a “safe pair of hands” to fill the void left by Kongstad’s sudden and untimely departure which is rumoured to have been connected with financial irregularities including alleged misappropriation of EPO funds.

“He was parachuted into this position as a “safe pair of hands” to fill the void left by Kongstad’s sudden and untimely departure which is rumoured to have been connected with financial irregularities including alleged misappropriation of EPO funds.”A little over a year later, in a typical game of EPO musical chairs which had long been predicted by EPO insiders, Ernst once again succeeded Lutz, this time as EPO Vice-President in charge of Legal and International Affairs (VP5).

Ernst seems to have been “awarded” this position in recognition of his “services” to the Battistelli regime during his time on the Administrative Council.

Ernst took up his position as EPO Vice-President in January 2019 but during most of the year he was rarely seen at the EPO and he seems to have spent most of his time abroad travelling to attend various IP junkets in the Far East in places such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Christoph Ernst photo-ops
Images from the Christoph Ernst Pacific Rim Tour 2019

Of course it wasn’t all travel to exotic faraway locations on the Pacific Rim. Christoph also found time for more mundane duty travel to EPO contracting states including Greece and together with his new boss António he went on a whistle-stop tour of the Nordic region (warning: epo.org link) taking in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Christoph Ernst in Greece
A rather bored looking Christoph Ernst attending an IP junket in Greece (September 2019)

Christoph Ernst in Denmark
Ernst (3rd from left) with Campinos at the Danish Patent & Trademark Office (September 2019)

Sadly, a likely side-effect of the novel Coronavirus Covid-19 will be a reduction in Mr Ernst’s appetite for foreign travel in 2020.

But the upside is that he might be able to spend a bit more time behind his desk in the EPO’s Isar Building.

And if he does, he might even manage to look into the unsolved riddle as to how Željko Topić “MBA” ended up on the EPO’s list of professional representatives despite there being no record that he ever passed the EQE.

“Sadly, a likely side-effect of the novel Coronavirus Covid-19 will be a reduction in Mr Ernst’s appetite for foreign travel in 2020.”After all let’s not forget that Topić’s application must have passed through the hands of EPO Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under his responsibility as the Vice President of International and Legal Affairs.

Come on Mr Ernst, how about a little bit of transparency and accountability on this one?

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