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Microsoft is Speaking 'for' Small EU-based Businesses to Promote Software Patents

Stocking around



Summary: Microsoft and its front groups pose for the cameras, pretending to be representatives of small European businesses and asking for legalisation of software patents on their behalf

BRUTAL monopolist Microsoft Corporation can never play fairly, can it? This is why we have got to watch what it's doing in Europe right now and also pay attention to who it pays this time around to attack Linux (Microsoft paid SCO on numerous occasions, although not always directly).



Lo and behold as Microsoft AstroTurfing arm, ACT, already interjects itself into the British press:

The failure to reach agreement was met with disappointment by the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT).

"Not reaching an agreement is a terrible setback for European SMEs regardless of their origin. The benefits of having a single patent far outweigh the linguistic concerns being used to block it," said ACT president Jonathan Zuck.

"This merry-go-round is detrimental for our innovation and growth. We hope that discussions for the EU patent are soon back in the lane and not postponed to an uncertain time."

Barnier echoed the disappointment of businesses, but said that an agreement was "impossible" to reach.


Zuck represents a monopoly, not businesses. He has been an AstroTurfer for a long time, having started some sort of a career in acting (which he is obviously still doing, but this time as a lobbyist who lies a lot). The above article is an example of bad reporting from David Neal, who also pretends that Barnier [1, 2, 3] serves business intesrests, based on that other lobbyist who is pretending to speak for businesses. What a catastrophe in the so-called "official" news. This is why we weigh particular blogs like Groklaw as highly as the mainstream press, and especially more highly than the corporate press.

For Zuck and his fellow minions, the job was accomplished (mind shared gained by the bad people whom Microsoft hired to do it), 'injecting' disinformation into the press. Neal just swallowed it without doing sufficient research, just as a lot of 'news' channels such as Fox echo Big Oil lobbyists regarding climate issues.

Anyway, pressing on a bit we find the president of the FFII showing that Microsoft too does the lobbying along with ACT:

Microsoft speaking in the name of European SMEs: "It’s very costly, particularly for small and medium-size enterprises"


The quote is from here and the spokesman is Jan Muehlfeit, the European chairman at Microsoft -- one whom we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (just don't mention that he is a former communist [1, 2]). We commented further on the above article just when the news first trickled in and the the president of the FFII writes to another booster of the European Patent (a fellow countryman).

@VincentVQ Do you know if the Belgian Parliament gave a mandate to the Belgian Presidency to negotiate on patent matters? Any link?


Barnier and the person addressed above (Vincent Van Quickenborne [1, 2, 3, 4]) are like the latest McCreevies, whose role appears to be helping multinationals harm European businesses (not law firms) while shrewdly pretending to help them. Here is a patent lawyers' blog blaming Spain for doing the right thing:

Via a number of sources, including the IPKat's friend Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg) comes news that the European Union has [predictably, say some people] failed to find a compromise on a system to make it easier to obtain region-wide patent protection [click here for recent background information], to the great disappointment of internal-market commissioner Michel Barnier.


Neatly enough, patent as "monopoly" seems to have become somewhat of a perceptual norm because the first comment states: "If the cost of transacting business in a foreign country is higher than in your own, then it must be to your advantage to be able to afford to secure a local monopoly, and not just foreign ones."

Carlo Piana, an Italian who is stubborn regarding elimination of software patents, writes:

"Patents on software are a bad idea." "Patents on software are a bad idea." Now repeat that to yourself one thousand times, PLS!


Piana had this tweet retweeted by a lot of people. The Italians too helped derail the European Patent.

Now that Microsoft lobbies for RAND (like the RAND in OOXML) the news about the European Patent is very important. Perhaps Europe will managed to expel the lobbyists and follow India's footsteps.

Axel H. Horns, who is poised to benefit from a system more encumbered by patents, says that the patent-legitimising initiative called "Peer-To-Patent" (how about Peer-NOT-To-Patent?) is possibly reaching the UK.

The Peer-to-Patent project (also known as the Community Patent Review project) is an initiative that seeks reform of the patent system by gathering public input in a structured, productive manner. Peer-to-Patent seeks to improve the quality of issued patents by connecting the USPTO to an open network of experts online.


The president of the FFII has responded to this by writing:

UKPTO to push for more resistant software patents via the Peer to Patent Program: http://ur1.ca/2c2fx


Whose agenda does Peer-To-Patent serve anyway? IBM's maybe? IBM is the one injecting money into Peer-To-Patent this year, not surprisingly (there was a disclosure in recent weeks and we covered it at the time). This is not the right approach to be taking, certainly not in Europe.

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