10.28.07

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Europe, Intellectual Property, and Software Patent Stories

Posted in America, Antitrust, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents, SUN at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe’s stance on patents is a hot topic at the moment. The EC’s agreement with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] left room for uncertainty while at the same time giving the agency more power and influence.

The European Union’s antitrust agency is becoming more influential just as its U.S. counterparts have grown more cautious and inactive, experts say.

It was interesting to find the following article in The Register: European Commission asks for new IP protection layer

The European Commission wants to create a new layer of intellectual property protections because it says existing structures such as WIPO are not flexible enough.

[...]

ACTA is designed to create a common approach between member nations in relation to the punishment of counterfeiting and piracy. It may also plan to change the law in some member countries. One of its aims is listed as “creating a strong modern legal framework which reflects the changing nature of intellectual property theft in the global economy”.

This whole proposal refers to the larger IP ‘umbrella’ and not necessarily patents. But there are other noteworthy stories.

(Software) Patent news:

NetApp losing ‘spew dot oh’ blog war to Sun

Then you have Sun playing the open source card against NetApp’s proprietary code stance.

As Hitz rightly argues, there’s no reason to give Sun any credit for citing that ZFS has been open sourced if Sun is in fact stealing NetApps’ intellectual property. But Hitz seems to ignore how virulent and vocal the open source “community” can be.

Gutting of Amazon patent was helped by Amazon-owned company

Amazon’s 1-Click patent became famous in the late 1990s when the company asserted it against competitor book shop Barnes and Noble, which wanted to challenge Amazon’s dominance of online book sales.

Covered last week: Microsoft pays $5m to settle Timeline BI patent dispute

Microsoft has agreed to pay Seattle, Washington-based patent holding firm Timeline $5m to settle an ongoing patent infringement suit related to technology that Microsoft gained last year from its acquisition of ProClarity.

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