Bonum Certa Men Certa

OIN Adds Members From the EU Despite EU's Exclusion of Software Patents; ACTA Used to Push for EU Community Patent

Rockgroup companySummary: An analysis of ForgeRock's inclusion in OIN and irritating news about the potential role of ACTA in pushing software patents into Europe

LAST NIGHT we wrote about Microsoft's demise (leading to increased patent aggression) and this morning we wrote about the Europe-based ForgeRock joining the Open Invention Network (OIN). As expected, ForgeRock joined OIN for protection from lawsuits, even though evidence is still lacking that OIN deflects lawsuits from Microsoft et al. with possible exceptions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. A few hours ago, Simon Phipps from ForgeRock confirmed that they joined for defence purposes and he added: "we have no patents and don't intend to get any."



“[W]e have no patents and don't intend to get any.”
      --Simon Phipps, ForgeRock
It is good news that OIN offers a place to companies without software patents. What's the catch though? How much do they need to pay to join this pool? Canonical is in a similar situation as it recently joined OIN [1, 2], despite the fact that it's located in Europe and thus has less trouble with software patents (with one exception as "Microsoft has already approached Canonical pressuring them to sign up to a patent deal," said a recent report).

The reality of the matter is that Microsoft has managed to extort companies like LG using alleged patent violations in Linux. It still affects Android. An ideal solution to this problem would be elimination of software patents, but LG is located in Korea, where software patents are arguably legal. Over in Europe it's an entirely different story. The FFII's president, who is Belgian, has just shared the following audio [Ogg] which he describes as: "FFII France at the RMLL meeting 2010, interview of Rene Mages about software patents" (maybe our French-speaking readers can transcribe and translate parts of it).



FFII's president has also warned that based on this page, the "IP Summit in Brussels [will have] plenty of pro-software patent companies and proponents of a central patent court" on which he expands by linking to this article (in French) about ACTA. He says that the "Commission is pushing for patents in ACTA in order to create a legal base for the Community Patent [...] ISPs will be responsible of patent infringements of their users if patents are in ACTA, says PCimpact, EU [is] pushing for it" (full or partial translation of the article would again be handy).

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