10.07.11

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Halliburton in a War With European Patent Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Halliburton

Summary: Notorious occupier and military contractor Halliburton helps legitimise USPTO-style software patents in Europe

IF patent monopolies granted by the USPTO have their enforcement expand to international scope, then a form of imperialistic growth (for multinationals) gets better reinforced and further facilitated. There is nothing to be gained from software patents (granted in the US) coming to other nations, unless one is a patent lawyer or major monopolist that hires patent lawyers. The public seems to have already grasped that, but those who lobby politicians are not representatives of the public. There is a parallel universe of special interests and parasitical operations that justify their own existence by ‘selling’ and ‘buying’ so-called ‘intellectual property’, as can be seen in some new press release. Intellectual monopolies do not exist to serve the public, just as the copyright debate is steered almost solely by corporations with copyrights (see this new video from Larry Lessig).

Yesterday we wrote about Halliburton doing its thing in the UK, adding to its notoriety also on a litigious dimension. According to this new article’s headline, “Halliburton wins appeal on software patentability issue” and to quote the opening paragraphs: “One of the world’s largest providers to the global oil and gas industry, Halliburton, has won an important appeal hearing in the UK overturning a previous decision on its simulation software.

“According to Withers & Rogers, the decision makes it possible for businesses to obtain patent protection in the UK for various computer implemented design and simulation tools, amongst other things, which may have previously been blocked by some specific UK exclusions.”

Absolutely outrageous.

“On a caselaw basis they arguably legitimise software patents in Europe.”Software patents in the EU have been a concern in recent years primarily due to a decision on Symbian in the UK and then some decisions in Germany (we covered all of these on numerous occasions). On a caselaw basis they arguably legitimise software patents in Europe.

It is being reported right now that following Apple’s appeal to a trolls-friendly court (based on Germany) that it should block imports of some Android devices, Samsung is in fact fighting back:

The latest iPhone is at the centre of controversy already – the day after it was unveiled.

Technology firm Samsung is planning legal action to stop Apple selling it in two European countries and it has received a lukewarm reception from experts.

The iPhone 4S looks identical to the previous iPhone 4 and shares its glass front and back and trademark stainless steel band, but has a new more powerful A5 chip inside and potentially revolutionary voice recognition software.

Apple fans will conveniently ‘forget’ who started this and perhaps even accuse Samsung (one of the top European patentors) of being “aggressive”. With or without lawsuits, iPhone 4S is too little, too late.

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