12.28.11

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Software Patents: How Europe Lost Its Sovereignty

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Koekelberg's Basilica

Summary: The first part of a series about the unitary patent and its attempted last-minute passage

CONVENTIONAL wisdom says that when corporations accumulate joint desire to have a new law, sooner or later they will get it, some time, somehow.

Over the years we have covered the many attempts to legalise software patents in Europe. More recently, politician were 'pulling an ACTA' and using the same tactics they use to pass ACTA to also pass software patents (although not explicitly so). This one propaganda page is titled: “A unitary European patent and a unified European patent litigation system – political agreement by the end of 2011?”

“More recently, politician were ‘pulling an ACTA’ and using the same tactics they use to pass ACTA to also pass software patents (although not explicitly so).”Well, guess who that page is from? “David Sant, software patent representative of the EPO, now works for TaylorWessing, the Lehne company,” claims the FFII’s president. For those who do not know the scandals of Lehne, see previous posts such as this.

Here are some instructions for those wishing to contact politicians who are less corrupt. “The European Union is rushing to impose,” says the author, “with as less discussion as possible, a unitary patent, despite the risk that this project could introduce software patents in Europe by giving away a lot of powers to the democratically uncontrolled extra-EU European Patent Office (EPO), and despite all warnings that the legal basis of the regulation on the unitary patent is likely to not comply with EU Treaties. In such a situation, only a massive citizen rally could prevent the unitary patent to end up as a stillborn project, in the detriment of the EU innovation policy. In order to inform Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), here are some guidelines and concrete suggestions to act by contacting them.” It is probably not too late for reasons we will show in later parts.

Here is a post on the subject which says “it seems that we head now to the meeting of the Competitiveness Council on 5 December with a danger that these bad agreements might be agreed at a political level; and with the prospect of them being formally adopted during the Danish Presidency in the first half of 2012. Such agreements should be a cause of celebration. But they would not be. There is a groundswell of opinion in industry that the proposals must be looked at again afresh. Likewise at their annual Venice meeting at the end of last month, the European patents judges voted unanimously against the current form of Court agreement. Hence, it is to be hoped that even at this late stage, the politicians will listen to the users and Judges. No doubt regardless of whether agreement is, or is not reached, the Polish announcement will be triumphal. Hence we must look carefully at precisely what is said. Hopefully the announcement from Warsaw will be pure rhetoric, and no agreement will have been reached. We await the announcement with baited breath.”

The outcome of this we are going to cover later. The press release of the Polish Presidency says self-serving things and the observers say that “the Polish presidency has “hit a wall” because of the opposition over the location of the central patent court ”

One news site claims frustration at the presidency. To quote:

Poland’s European affairs minister said the “biggest disappointment” of his country’s EU presidency, largely seen as successful under the difficult circumstances of the eurozone crisis, was the failure to take on board Bulgaria and Romania in the EU border-free Schengen area.

We wrote about the Polish presidency in [1, 2, 3, 4].

In the next few posts we shall continue covering the unitary patents from more angles. It is depressing news, so we preferred not to cover it during Christmas (and yesterday was unsuitable because we had made the front page of Slashdot , so the site was generally slow and fragile).

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