Bonum Certa Men Certa

Klinkert Zindel Partner is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

Bronze babyland statue
Lawyers help the software patent trolls, which mean business to legal firms



Summary: Another supporter of USPTO-style patent law in Europe is named and rebutted

LAST MONTH we showed that New Zealand's patent law was getting a loophole similar to Europe's. It's intended to allow software patents to enter from the back door and this happened after intense lobbying for software patents, in part by A J Park [1, 2], a lawyers' firm which recently lied about Europe in order to advance its agenda. A lawyer from this law firm called Klinkert Zindel Partner (Germany) has just used InternationalLawOffice.com to further advance his agenda by publicly defending software patents. For example he says:



In practice, the new development is to be be welcomed. While making it easier to obtain software-related patents, the decision also clarifies the related requirements. Further, concerns about innovation being impeded by software patents relating to trivial technical solutions are unfounded.


What do they know about innovation? They are patent lawyers. They help impede innovation. Why does this site/journal repeatedly give a platform to many lawyers, not taking account of the consequences to the industry (not of the lawyers, the one that actually produces real products)?

TechLiberation.com, a longtime critic of software patents, gives the history of software patents this week:

Goetz’s ADR became the first recipient of a patent on software in 1968, “a clear turning-point in the recognition of software as a product, not a service.” With attorney Mort Jacobs, Goetz determined that their software should be licensed rather than sold to customers to prevent them sharing programs, “a customary and accepted practice” at the time.

This anecdote doesn’t prove anything, but it offers a lot of food for thought and discussion. To wit:

* Johnson’s account favors today’s software patenting status quo. She refers to the “natural market” for ADR’s software, implying that IBM’s practice of writing and giving away software would have been an unnatural influence. She portrays Goetz’ pursuit of a patent as “defensive,” though there’s an equally plausible interpretation in which IBM plays defense against an insurgent by writing software to match its offering. Blocking that option by seeking a patent would part of going “on offense.” Finally, Johnson characterizes the ADR patent as “recognition” of what she appears to take as the right outcome.

[...]


We wrote about Martin Goetz when he took pride in making software patentable. The “defensive” excuse never held water because there is no contractual agreement assigned to a patent to say it cannot be used in a lawsuit. Patents are monopolies and they can only be used like weapons are used; there is nothing defensive about monopolies and arms. It's time to get rid of this apologetic notion.

"They [EPO examiners] claim that the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated." —Expatica, European Patent Office staff on strike

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