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

09.17.20

Germany Would Violate 3 International Agreements With the Unitary Patent, Says FFII

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents, Petitions at 7:04 am by Guest Editorial Team

Original by FFII

German Reichstag

Summary: Open Letter to the Bundesrat: “Germany will violate 3 international agreements with the Unitary Patent”

Dear Members of the Bundesrat,

Tomorrow Friday 17 September 2020, the Bundesrat will be asked to ratify the Unitary Patent and its Court (UPCA) (point 55 on the agenda). We would like to raise 4 objections regarding this ratification, as it carries the risk of violating multiple international agreements:

1. Software patents will be made enforceable without a debate

FFII eV represents the voice of 3000 software companies and independent software developers across Europe. Our software companies oppose the UPCA, as it will validate software patents through the caselaw of such a court, using the “technical effect” or “as such” loopholes, as confirmed by the European Commission in its 2012 Memo about the UPC. Software patents have negative effects on job creation, as small software companies don’t have the resources to defend themselves in court. Software patents are also opposed by a majority of companies in our sector, as more and more litigating companies (also called “patent trolls”) are trying to extract money.

We would like to see the UPCA being renegotiated, so that the European Court of Justice (CJEU) will have a say on software patents, as the legal basis is of the Unitary Patent is Art118 TFEU “creation of European intellectual property rights”. In 2012, the UK was allergic to the CJEU and asked for the removal of Art6-8, which would have given competence to the CJEU to decide on patent law. The patent industry also wanted their own court, and a monopoly on the interpretation of patent law. Experts are also divided on the question of whether the CJEU will be able to rule on patentable subject matter, as the UPCA has been designed to avoid the CJEU judges.

2. The UK is still listed as a “negotiating state” of the Agreement according to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT)

The United Kingdom is still listed as a country part of the Agreement, and the Ministry of Justice has resorted to very creative legal tricks in order to get the Treaty “into force”.

In June, the Ministry of Justice was saying the ratification by the UK was a requirement to get the Treaty into force:

“The fact that Great Britain broke the Convention as a result of Brexit does not prevent its implementation: the Regulations for entry into force of the Convention and its rules should ensure that all three are involved in the contract States, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Great Britain, already participate in the judicial system at the start of the Unified Patent Court. […]

Regardless of the fact that UK approval currently exists a departure from Great Britain has no influence on the applicability of the entry into force regulations in any case because these are to be interpreted in such a way that if one of these three states can not be foreseen by anyone, the entire entry into force for the does not hinder remaining participants.

On the 21st of July, the UK has de-ratified the UPCA on the 21st of July, by sending a Note Verbale to the Council of the European Union.

The UK is still a “Negotiating State” in the sense of Article 2(e) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). The UK has not given its agreement for the international treaties whose texts it took part in drawing up and adopting (the UPCA and the two associated protocols) to enter into force. Thus, in addition to entry into force now being contrary to a literal reading of the relevant provisions of the Agreement and Protocols, there would appear to be no basis for entry into force under Article 24 VCLT.

As the UK is still listed as one of the countries in the UPCA Treaty as a seat of the Court for Pharmaceuticals, the Bundesrat MUST send back the UPCA to the European Commission for renegotiation. Germany cannot re-interpret the UPCA in order to unilaterally temporary redirect the workload of the London court to Paris and Munich.

3. Lack of compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Art6 “a Tribunal established by law”

3a. Rules of Procedure not made by legislators

Despite the Brexit problem, the German Ministry of Justice should have presented to you, together with the bill, an analysis of the UPCA’s compliance with the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights). The UPCA is not compliant with the ECHR, as its rules of procedure are mabe by an obscure Administrative Committee, and this is in violation with Art6 ECHR, “a tribunal established by law“, where the ECHR’s jurisprudence requires that Parliament(s) [you] should have been involved in the drafting and ratification of those rules of procedure of the court.

Any democrat will understand that this jurisprudence is in place in order to avoid the creation of rogue tribunals, put in place by the executive power. This lack of compliance has been raised in the first constitutional complaint and mentioned in the 20th March 2020 decision of the Constitutional Court, but the Court did not rule on this point.

In Coëme Vs Belgium (22 juin 2000), the court said:

According to the case-law, the object of the term “established by law” in Article 6 of the Convention is to ensure “that the judicial organisation in a democratic society [does] not depend on the discretion of the Executive, but that it [is] regulated by law emanating from Parliament” (see Zand v. Austria, application no. 7360/76, Commission’s report of 12 October 1978, Decisions and Reports (DR) 15, pp. 70 and 80). Nor, in countries where the law is codified, can organisation of the judicial system be left to the discretion of the judicial authorities, although this does not mean that the courts do not have some latitude to interpret the relevant national legislation.

ECHR, Coëme e.a./Belgique, 22 juin 2000, Req. n ° 32492/96, 32547/96, 32548/96, 33209/96 et 33210/96, §98

You can also find similar jurisprudence in other decisions:

ECHR, Pandjikidzé e.a./Géorgie, 27 oct 2009, Req. n° 30323/02 , §§ 104 et 105

ECHR, Savino e.a./Italie, 28 apr 2009, Req. n° 17214/05, 20329/05, 42113/04, §94

ECHR, Previti/Italie, 8 déc 2009, Req. n° 45291/06, §213

ECHR, Laventis/Lettonie, 28 nov 2002, Req. n° 58442/00, §114

ECHR, Zeynalov/Azerbaïdjan, 30 may 2013, Req. n° 31848/07, §30

ECHR, Momčilović/Serbie, 2 ape 2013, Req. n° 23103/07, §29

ECHR, Oleksandr Volkov/Ukraine, 9 jan 2013, Req. n° 21722/11, §151.

ECHR jurisprudence on Art6 “A tribunal established by law”

3b. Litigation will be more expensive for a single case

After the UPCA has been negotiated in 2012, this obscure Administrative Committee took the freedom to decide on the court fees. Those court fees are important for the “access to justice” and a very sensitive topic for SMEs. Those court fees will result in a 3x increase in the costs of litigation, for a simple case, and compared to the actual situation in Germany. This Administrative Committee took the freedom to decide on expensive court fees that will bare access to the Court, advised by an “expert committee” where no SME was represented, but where multinationals were (Nokia and BASF). We believe this is also in violation of the ECHR art6 “a tribunal established by law”, as this Administrative Committee does not have the power to legislate. It should have been your role as a legislator to decide what those amounts should have been.

4. UPCA is violating the “rule of law” (TFEU Art2), the EPO cannot be brought to court for maladministration

The UPCA is also violating the “rule of law” principle, enshrined in the German Constitution, and in the Article 2 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The European Patent Office (EPO) cannot be brought to Court for maladministration, and there are currently 4 pending cases in front of the German Constitutional Court for violation of such principle. The Court is expected to publish a decision on those complaints before the end of this year, which might have some profound impact on the architecture of the patent system in Europe. The German Ministry of Justice does not seem to want to wait for this important decision.

If those points are not seriously addressed, we will consider asking the Court to look again at the issue by filling a second Constitutional Complaint.

Best regards,

HENRION Benjamin

President of FFII eV

06.05.20

When You Realise People Who Don’t Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Petitions, Red Hat at 11:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If in my lifetime the problem of non-free software is solved, I could perhaps relax and write software again. But I might instead try to help deal with the world’s larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it.”

Richard Stallman

Puppy and evil dog: 2019: We want GNU that works for everyone, 2020: We want to replace GNU

Jeff Law signed

Jeff Law for LLVM

IBM for LLVM

Summary: The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday [1, 2] and another that it promoted yesterday

03.23.18

Team Battistelli and Team UPC Are Both Very Deep in Denial

Posted in Deception, Europe, Petitions at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They still have a very long way to go

Five Stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kubler Ross & David Kessler
Reference: Five Stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kubler Ross & David Kessler

Summary: The perpetrators of a terrible patent system that permits patents on abstract ideas (which sometimes aren’t novel, either) and litigation as a priority refuse to let go of their dream — a distant, runaway fantasy which may soon cost over a thousand examiners their careers

Team Battistelli and Team UPC have a lot in common and they mutually benefit at the expense of the EPO. We have stressed this repeatedly over the years and there are many aspects to this symbiotic relationship.

Earlier today Team Battistelli said that “[p]atent applications at the EPO from UK companies and inventors continued to climb in 2017 (+2.4%),” but I told them that prices were lowered to ‘cheat’ for this supposed increase, which is still a decrease in revenue. They don’t like talking about that. For a number of months they hoped nobody would notice and point this out. Finances of the EPO are pretty opaque, but one can imagine what’s going on.

“Fourth Industrial Revolution technology patents [i.e. software patents at the EPO] are flourishing…”
      –World Economic Forum
Not only did the EPO lower the cost of applications (after observing decline in the number of applications); it also lowered the bar, welcoming for example software patents which are illegal in Europe. It just introduced some loopholes for that and wasted money promoting such loopholes in the media.

Earlier today the EPO retweeted this nonsense from WEF (World Economic Forum), which is based on something the EPO had paid the media for. “Fourth Industrial Revolution technology patents,” it said. “are flourishing…”

“Replace “patents in ICT” by “software patents”. And guess there are few software developers in the audience…”
      –Benjamin Henrion
This buzzword just means software patents, which are not legal in Europe. How do we know that this buzzword means software patents? IAM and Battistelli jointly said so earlier this year. “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (IR4) should just be read/interpreted as “software patents”; it’s a new (totally made up) term that’s being used in conjunction with older misleading terms like “CII”. Benjamin Henrion has also just taken note of “ICT” — a term that Grant Philpott likes to use alongside “Industry 4.0″ (they all mean the same thing). “Replace “patents in ICT” by “software patents”. And guess there are few software developers in the audience,” Henrion wrote today.

Then there are terms like “artificial intelligence”, which can be used for assessment of patents or for patents on software. We wrote about it many times so far this year (because the “AI” hype has been really strong in the past few months). Earlier today the EPO wrote: “We will discuss artificial intelligence and patent information searching at the East Meets West conference in Vienna…”

Carry on with buzzwords, EPO, but buzzwords won’t save you. The quality of patents is declining along with revenue (apparently). Courts aren’t easily fooled by buzzwords and don’t have 'production' pressures that compel them to decide within just hours.

“The quality of patents is declining along with revenue (apparently).”And on we move to Team UPC, which benefits from low-quality patents because these fuel more lawsuits (which is what they profit the most from). Thomas Adam (“UPCtracker”) wrote about CJEU in relation to UPC (4 days ago), foolishly believing (in spite lots of evidence to the contrary) that the Conservative Party will make exceptions just for UPC (which they never even speak about).

Then there’s “UPC blog” from Louise Amar, who went on about the selective data points from the likes of Bristows, choosing to create/embrace a sort of parallel reality wherein UPC is “almost there” and “inevitable”. In reality, or in this only universe, the UPC is dead. Team UPC (with blogs called “UPC blog” and accounts called “UPCtracker”) will sooner or later reach the “acceptance” phase. Deal with it and move on, Team UPC. Your Twitter accounts and blog names are now obsolete.

Amar wrote this:

Since the Brexit referendum the future of the UPC has been in jeopardy and, despite the optimistic schedules published by the UPC Preparatory Committee, its opening is still uncertain. Recently however, member states have taken encouraging steps. The UPC may thus soon become a reality.

No, it may not and the ‘evidence’ presented is delusional at best. As time goes by there is only growing evidence that the UPC will not happen. Nothing positive has happened since before Brexit. Nothing.

“As usual, especially when it comes to Team Battistelli and Team UPC, there’s an incredible difference between perception and reality. Maybe all of them — not just Battistelli — are perpetually drunk (not only on power).”Amar then proceeds to mumbling some incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo about SPC and Brexit. Brexit’s impact on patents is not profound because the UK remains in the EPO, but it will never participate in the UPC, which won’t materialise anyway.

As usual, especially when it comes to Team Battistelli and Team UPC, there’s an incredible difference between perception and reality. Maybe all of them — not just Battistelli — are perpetually drunk (not only on power).

12.08.15

Hypocrite in Chief: Benoît Battistelli Compares Staff Union to ‘Mafia’

Posted in Europe, Patents, Petitions at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

"Nazis", "Snipers", “Mafia” and the name-calling strategy of Team Battistelli

Mafia man

Summary: The gloves come off as Battistelli resorts to name-calling and European patent attorneys increasingly defect to the side of protesters (staff of EPO), expressing dissatisfaction if not disgust at the EPO’s management

THERE is no denying that the EPO‘s management is extremely popular right now.

According to this new article, the Tony Soprano-like Battistelli says that SUEPO “is not a trade union [but] a mafia-type entity” (look who’s talking). In a recent poll, 96% of respondents expressed concern and almost half of the staff is brave enough to march against the management. We have heard estimates of over 800 EPO employees protesting in The Hague and over 2,000 in Munich last week. This new summary from Merpel gives similar figures and justifiably wonders what will happen next:

Three members of the EPO Staff Committees have been suspended, as Merpel reported here. In support of their suspended colleagues, further demonstrations have been taking place (Merpel reported the initial one here) – and now she hears that the further protest in the Hague on 1 December numbered around 600 EPO employees, while that in Munich on 4 December attracted over 2000. It is clear that the unrest within the EPO at various things, including the treatment of these officials, is widespread – these numbers are pretty much without precedent.

[...]

There seems to Merpel to be an unsustainable escalation in conflict at the EPO. This affects both the general employees, and also the Boards of Appeal, as Merpel reported here. There seems to be a somewhat raised level of political interest in member states now, but how long must Merpel keep writing that something must be done?

See a certain pattern in early comments. Trying to frame this as a general problem (affecting a lot of public bodies) is serving to distract from the EPO’s situation. I know this type of media strategy fairly well because Microsoft uses that too (trying to characterise other companies as ‘equally evil’).

To quote one comment from a British lawyer(from the comments section):

Does anyone have any ideas how we can prevail upon the AC to act – assuming, that is, that they’re not actively complicit in BB’s wrecking of the entire system?

As a GB-based attorney I can write to my national delegates on the AC, but it’s easy for them to ignore correspondence from a single person. If a substantial proportion of GB representatives were to write, individually, they’d hopefully find it harder to ignore. Similarly with attorneys in other countries, there is strength in numbers if we all write to our national delegates.

Are the relevant national professional associations taking any action? Has CIPA made any representations to the GB delegation? Has EPI made representations to any AC delegates? (I know both made submissions on the BoA reform proposals, which were largely ignored, but surely it is time for both CIPA and EPI, and their counterparts in other member states, to make a more general intervention directly to the AC members.)

If the largest EPO-using law firms and companies in each member state made official representations to the AC would these carry any more weight?

The IPKat is performing a great service in Kataloguing all of the perverse developments at the EPO but the time has come for us to speak up directly to those in power. While the complaints are being documented on a handful of blogs, the AC and the management can disregard these as being just some bloggers’ opinion. We can’t just sit on the sidelines and complain amongst ourselves, watching while the EPO management continues to ride roughshod over its employees – we users need to let the EPO know that we are concerned too, and that the opinion of the blogs is shared by many practitioners.

Who will coordinate such action?

As was hinted earlier today, we now consider setting up (or helping to set up) a petition, maybe organise some kind of action which can compel the abuses by EPO management to stop. Hitting them where it hurts, it might help to embargo or discourage further patent applications unless or until some ultimatum is met (e.g. allowing external auditors and an independent investigation to take place at the Office). It may be the only remaining way to resolve this AC-Team Battistelli deadlock.

11.02.11

Sign the New White House Petition Against Software Patents

Posted in Action, Antitrust, Patents, Petitions at 3:19 am by Guest Editorial Team

The Obama administration issued a feeble response to a previous petition against software patents signed by more than 14,000 people. Please sign the new one which requires more than 20,000 signatures to merit a response.

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Pursue Software Patent Abolition.
We hold the belief that software patents, in nature and practice, hinder true innovation and grant unjust monopolies.

The Obama Administration’s response to a previous petition shamefully attempted to absolve the President of responsibility and placate us with the toothless America Invents Act. We summarily reject his response and demand immediate action.

Rapid growth in the software industry during economic malaise demonstrates the importance and power of this market. The President must use his full power and influence to fight harmful forces from entrenched incumbents and non-producing entities.

There are no possible reforms to be made to the USPTO that will enable it to keep pace with innovation in the software industry. Those who truly understand software are creating it.

03.02.11

HP Acquires Firm Hostile Towards Free Software, a Microsoft Ally

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, HP, Microsoft, Petitions, Security at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New article about software patents reveals that HP, under new leadership, has quietly bought a group of Microsoft allies (Fortify)

Following Hurd’s departure [1, 2, 3, 4] a former Microsoft ally was made the CEO of HP [1, 2, 3, 4] and this is important because of HP’s leading position in the desktops/servers market, not to mention all of its patents. “Every time a software patent is registered, an angel is bludgeoned to death with a shoe,” wrote “MrAlanCooper” to a former Microsoft employee. Yesterday we noticed this article about software patents in security, in which it’s mentioned that Fortify has just been acquired by HP. It’s important because Fortify too is a Microsoft ally, as we noted in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The article says:

Can you patent the obvious? Apparently when it comes to software security, maybe you can. Gary McGraw explains how another party may get a patent on a technique he had a hand in inventing.

The notion of software patents is extremely controversial. The basic idea is simple and mirrors “regular” patents. An inventor invents something and files a number of claims about the invention. The Patent Office reviews the filing and determines whether to grant a patent for the invention. Holding a patent guarantees the inventor some rights to enjoy the fruits of the invention for a fixed period of time. Not so bad if you invent the next great inside-the-peel Tomato twaddler, but a bit harder to understand in the software space.

Can you patent the obvious? Apparently when it comes to software security, maybe you can.

[...]

On to patent land. Apparently the security testing firm Cenzic believes that they deserve a patent for software fault injection. In February 2007 (a decade after our book was published) Cenzic was awarded patent number 7185232 for “fault injection methods and apparatus.” The basic claims in the patent involve injecting some faulty input into a web program (thing one) and watching for error responses (thing two). Very nice. Or maybe not. A grass roots effort to collect prior art and dispute the patent is being spearheaded on the net byEnrique A. Sanchez Montellano.

As an inventor of security technology, I am not completely opposed to the idea of software patents. In fact, we hold eight patents in various aspects of software security at Cigital (some of which are likely to be infringed upon). We like the idea of licensing our ideas and our prototypes to others. In fact, that’s exactly what happened with Fortify which was recently acquired by HP. We licensed our code scanning ideas and prototypes to Kleiner-Perkins who went on to found Fortify, build a real commercial product, and sell the heck out of it. So the notion of protecting our ideas with patents is not foreign to us.

A lot could be said about the article’s attitude w.r.t. software patents, but the news that we missed about Fortify may be important in the future. Fortify attacks Free software quite routinely, so it’s unclear why HP would want this culture to become ‘in-house’. Incidentally, considering that Hurd was fired after Microsoft had pointed out that his work on a homebrew Linux-based operating system was a major threat (c/f SEC filing), one ought to watch carefully what Apotheker does at HP. Microsoft also named Intel’s work on MeeGo as a major threat (alongside HP) and we all know what Microsoft did to Nokia [1, 2, 3, 4], harming MeeGo a great deal using entryism (a manager from BT privately told us by mail that it was probably illegal, he called it “100% corrupt”). Yesterday we wrote about the contractual obligations of Micromoles. Watch out, HP.

Microsoft way

12.01.09

Call for Action: Support the GIMP

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Petitions, Ubuntu at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Direct link

Summary: Please sign the Bring Out The GIMP petition

IN order to avoid further Mono dependencies in Ubuntu, readers are kindly urged to sign this new petition, titled “Bring Out The GIMP”. Please spread the word so as to get as many signatures as possible.

Related posts:

08.07.09

Please Sign Petition to Protest Amazon’s Remote Deletion of 1984 and Animal Farm

Posted in Action, DRM, FSF, Petitions at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kindle

SARAH from the Free Software Foundation has called for people to express their dissatisfaction with far-reaching DRM in Amazon’s Kindle. “We have over 1400 signatures already,” she emphasises, “and signers include Lawrence Lessig, Clay Shirky, Cory Doctorow and other notable authors, librarians, and scholars.”

If you know other people who may wish to support the cause, please pass this around as it will be used to persuade Amazon to reverse, not just apologise, and it may also serve as a future lesson to other companies that attempt the same predatory action.

George Orwell

Don’t let Amazon ‘pull an Orwell’ on Orwell

Related post:

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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

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

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

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

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts