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Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) on the European Commission ‘Public’ Consultation Regarding a Misnomer

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: FFII Takes Stance Against the German Federal Ministry of Justice for Breaking the Law to Appease Team UPC

Battistelli-Breton photo-op

Summary: FFII warns about UPC as Trojan horse for patents on algorithms; “This backdoor has been confirmed by the European Commission itself on the 2012 UPC Memo, mentioning that patents for software could be validated by the UPC by using EPO’s loopholes like the infamous “technical effect” or the “as such” provision,” FFII reminds us

THE European Patent Office’s (EPO) ambitions of undermining European law may seem endless. António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli, two politicians, are not respecting the most basic underlying laws. They embrace lies, they gag truth-tellers, and they spread autocratic values everywhere they can. Even the EU’s offices (which the former came from).

“They embrace lies, they gag truth-tellers, and they spread autocratic values everywhere they can. Even the EU’s offices (which the former came from).”What about the European Commission, which now has in it Battistelli allies (won’t hold the EPO accountable and instead habitually helps dictators)?

Well, software patents are apparently not a problem anymore. Look who runs parts of the European Commission; it is a person from the private sector whose company (latest one) is pursuing lots of software patents in Europe and elsewhere.

The latest “European Commission public consultation on “IP [sic] action plan”,” according to Benjamin Henrion (FFII President), is “pushing for the UPC.”

As Wikipedia puts it, “FFII’s view is that software patents present a burden, not a benefit to society. It backs this position up citing extensive studies.”

“…those who stand to gain from UPC are expectedly loudest about it.”Henrion is very much focused on this one issue.

“Many participants are calling for the UPC to continue,” he told me, “at the European Commission public consultation on “IP action plan”.”

This is hardly surprising, as those who stand to gain from UPC are expectedly loudest about it. The rest are left outside the picture.

“Staff of the EPO is rightly concerned that the Office reinvented itself as a rubber-stamping operation.”The patent trolling enabler “Ericsson even went [so/as] far [as] to say that the German Presidency should issue a “patch” in order to quickly fix the UPC by the end of the year,” Henrion noted. “I have tweeted about all those contributions.”

We try to avoid Twitter for anything meaningful, so thankfully there’s also this new press release from the FFII which says:

FFII strongly oppose the UPC in its current form, which is the third attempt to impose software patents in Europe via the jurisprudence of such a court. Our software companies oppose software patents, as they are a threat to their mere existence.

Most software developers consider software patents as an unjustified intervention of the state between their chair and their keyboard. Legal scholars have raised the incompatibility with freedom of expression, as software is considered as a literal work. Most economists do not support the extension of patents to the software sector, where the whole system has too many negative effects.

The UPC is a gross attempt to impose unpopular software patents against the will of software developers and software companies, via the jurisprudence of such a court. This backdoor has been confirmed by the European Commission itself on the 2012 UPC Memo, mentioning that patents for software could be validated by the UPC by using EPO’s loopholes like the infamous “technical effect” or the “as such” provision.


We would welcome a dedicated public consultation on the options available, including the keeping the status quo, and we will probably organize ourselves a virtual conference on this topic following the EUPACO series before the end of the year.

The Unitary Patent in its current form is promoting patent maximalism, which is toxic and dangerous for society, and for all sectors of the economy. Patent maximalism can cost society a lot of money and a lot of jobs. It is not the moment to worsen the COVID19 crisis by a patent crisis.

The recent official departure of the UK from the project is creating the temptation to do a “quick fix” “à minima” by just replacing the UK by Italy (or any other country). This is what several companies and organizations are already promoting in this public consultation, only 2 weeks after the official deratification by the UK. We strongly oppose this “quick fix”, as the Unitary Patent project cannot be fixed, as its main design is to create a parallel captive justice system outside the structures of the European Union, including the European Court of Justice and the European Parliament. This design comes from the patent industry who wanted a patent on their own court, and from the UK’s allergy to the European Court of Justice, who managed to impose its veto over art6 and 8 of the project (appeal on points of law).

Well, the Unitary Patent project is dead. It might sort of come back with a new name, but it might take up to a decade, so we can worry about it a bit later. It’s good to see that FFII keeps its eye on the ball. In the meantime, we focus on EPO affairs. Staff of the EPO is rightly concerned that the Office reinvented itself as a rubber-stamping operation. It crushes anyone who dares question that agenda.

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