Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Start “Real Soon” Now… Said Team UPC For So Many Years

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: New Paper Demonstrates That Unitary Patent (UPC) is Little More Than a Conspiracy of Patent ‘Professionals’ and Their Self Interest

Iraqi information minister

Summary: The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is going nowhere fast, but those who spent time and money promoting it for self gain continue to lie to the press with overly optimistic predictions, unrealistic timelines, and Kool-Aid about the supposed ‘benefits’ of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

SEEING some of the latest developments surrounding the mythical Unified Patent Court (UPC) is… well, pleasing to say the least. It was inevitably going to happen. It was going to blow up. The nonchalance and self-deception of Team UPC was all along in vain. All it accomplished is, clients came for bad advice (notably on UPC) and maybe even fell for it.

Writing to us about the UPC discussion, one reader told us: “Do you remember the former Iraqi information minister who gained a lot of (doubtful) fame for his bizarrely distorted statements during the third gulf war (see this)? Why am I suddenly reminded of this when reading some claims made in the UPC context?”

Earlier today we saw decent publications such as IP Watch actually quoting the serial liars from Bristows regarding the UPC. Don’t they know that Bristows staff will lie for profit? Even fabricate news (fake news) for the sake of the UPC?

Watch their cognitive dissonance in the wake of the election that led to May's coalition of chaos (possibly irreconcilable):

“We see no signs that the new political landscape is going to have any impact on the government’s plans concerning the UPC as they were prior to the election,” Rey-Alvite Villar told Intellectual Property Watch. The Conservative government is essentially the same, so there’s no reason why it would take a different position from the last government, he said.

Rey-Alvite Villar is not British and he works for a firm that’s part of the UPC conspiracy. Why even quote these people on this subject?

A more balanced interpretation of the situation came from Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle), who said this:

“My own interpretation (and at this point this is mere speculation, but too tempting not to mention it!) is that the Bundesverfassungsgericht’s request to the President is based on the pending constitutional appeals against the EPO on which I wrote earlier in this blog. If the Bundesverfassungsgerichts is of the preliminary view that any of the pending four constitutional complaints may have merit, it would make eminent sense to request the President, at least for the time being, not to sign the UPCA ratification bills and first await the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision on these appeals, in order not to create faits accomplis. The decisions on these four appeals are expected later this year, but an exact point in time has not yet been defined.”

We don’t know who filed the complaint, but we can guess. We still inquire about it.

Benjamin Henrion, who thinks that Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna may have initiated it all, asked, “German companies and citizens will also have to rely on non-legally binding automated translations from English?”

The UPC is undesirable for all sorts of reasons. Very few would benefit from it at the expense of the large majority of individuals and companies.

Regarding Brexit, one person wrote: “Correct from the UK point of view – we leave in interesting times.”

Leaving the UPC Agreement (UPCA) and possibly the EU as well.

Here is another new comment about it:

Does anyone know how long the Bundesverfassungsgericht will take to provide a ruling in this case? Indeed, is there any possibility for the proceedings to be accelerated, for example in view of the upcoming Brexit deadline?

I have not yet seen anyone seriously suggest that the UK can ratify the UPC after Brexit. However, if the BVerG takes as long with this case as is has done with the pending complaints relating to EP patents, then we could end up considering that very question in great detail.

The combination of the General Election, Brexit, and now the barriers at Europe’s largest economy may prove lethal. Even pro-UPC publications such as IAM have begun expressing the view that UPC might never happen. At all! We gave some quotes and examples yesterday.

As we have been pointing out quite a few times, many views that are sceptical of or hostile towards the UPC are being deleted by Team UPC. There is an aggressive campaign of deception. They think they are fighting an information war in which all means at their disposal are permissible. We last wrote about the censorship 2 days ago.

In a censorship-rich thread about the UPC (at IP Kat, where many comments mysteriously fall into a hole) someone is now speaking of “problems with the current UPC agreement,” stating that “everyone agrees that the current agreement would need to be amended…”

Squire Patton Boggs’ Florian Traub and Gillian M. Dennis wrote this article about it in which they conclude that the German Federal Constitutional Court “could prevent the launch of the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent regime in its current form altogether…”

Here is the concluding part: “The ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) by Germany is likely to be delayed, knocking back, perhaps significantly, the launch date of the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent. It is expected that the Court will issue an order regarding the constitutional complaint in the next 6 months, raising the prospect of a delay of the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent into the first part of 2018. That presupposes, of course, that the complaint ultimately fails or the legislation can be remedied following directions by the Court. If however the Court finds the legislation unconstitutional in its entirety, it could prevent the launch of the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent regime in its current form altogether, as the regime cannot come into effect until Germany has ratified the UPCA.”

The European Union without United Kingdom cannot go ahead with UPC. As someone in the commens put it, the “current agreement wouldn’t enable the UK to stay in the UPC after Brexit”; Well, this is why it’s practically dead. The UPC in its current form says “UK” and “London” in it. If the UK won’t participate, then they need to rewrite the whole thing and restart the ratification process in every single member states. This can take years. And who knows what might happen in the mean time…

Here is one of the latest comments on the matter:

If G&P are to be believed (and I take this to be your position), the UPC – if it came into being under the provisions of the current UPC Agreement – would not form part of the national legal order of EU Member States. This means that bringing the UPC into being under the current Agreement would create a court that is not able to refer questions to the CJEU. This is because there would simply be no legal basis for the UPC to make such references.

The situation would be different if G&P were wrong in the sense that, under the current Agreement, the UPC would actually form part of the national legal order of EU Member States. In that event, the UPC could rely upon the authority of Article 267 TFEU to make references to the CJEU. The flip side of this, however, is that it would be impossible for the UK to continue to participate in the current UPC Agreement post-Brexit…

In other words, you can’t have your cake and eat it.

The response to the above says this:

…you are still talking about the current UPC agreement.


Everyone agrees that the current agreement wouldn’t enable the UK to stay in the UPC after Brexit. Everyone agrees that it therefore needs to be amended.

In those circumstances, I think it’s rather irrelevant to take an abstruse point about whether the UPC (under the current agreement) would form part of the legal order of national EU states.

But I think where G&P are coming from, perhaps, is that the UPCA is an international agreement, which doesn’t naturally form part of the EU legal order in and of itself. Currently it gets that status by reason of being a court common to a number of EU member states, and only EU member states. But it would lose that status when one of the states leaves the EU. Amendments are then required so that the EU legal order continues to apply in some other way.

Again, this can take a very long time and there is no guarantee that politicians will offer consent to the said amendments. The UPCA is basically stuck again and there is no imminent redemption, irrespective of what the UK does next.

EPO Management Wastes Millions of Euros on a Silly, Gratuitous, Self-Serving Festival While EPO Staff is Planning Another Strike

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO strike

Summary: Unrest at the European Patent Office (EPO) is growing again, with plans of a strike resulting in a formal vote for a strike next week

THE EPO has once again wasted a fortune on some razzle-dazzle distraction whose early outcomes we leaked. The latest (earlier today at epo.org) puff piece from the EPO would want us to look away from the many scandals, but behind the paid-for hype and gloss there is deepening rot and growing unrest.

“Things must change and a strike shows that Battistelli’s bogus narratives (e.g. that of “vocal minority”) are, if anything, symptomatic of his dubious mental state.”With another strike call in the making there is now some progress report, which one reader sent to us. It speaks of a “[p]aper ballot on strike on 22 June (2 days after the Staff Committees elections),” adding that “Mr Topic informed the Staff Representation that management has decided that the vote on the call for strike “Respect Staff” launched by all Staff Committees (CSC and LSCs) will take place on Thursday 22 June in the form of a paper ballot, i.e. two days after the vote (also on paper) for the Staff Committee elections on Tuesday 20 June. There will be thus two important paper ballots next week.”

We are pretty certain, knowing staff hasn't got much to lose anymore, that enough people will in fact vote and vote for a strike. The timing is strategic because with the meeting of the Council approaching and Battistelli about to receive marching orders (even if deferred, until next year) it’s imperative that all staff demonstrates disdain and displeasure. Things must change and a strike shows that Battistelli’s bogus narratives (e.g. that of “vocal minority”) are, if anything, symptomatic of his dubious mental state. Today, in paid media, he dared compare his paid-for lobbying event to Nobel prizes. He clearly has delusions of grandeur and the cost of this God complex of his is the very survival of the Office… after half a century of enviable success.

Links 15/6/2017: Mir 0.26.3, FreeNAS 11.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Google open-sources mobile-first computer vision models for TensorFlow

    Google is helping smartphones better recognize images without requiring massive power consumption, thanks to a new set of models the company released today. Called MobileNets, the pre-trained image recognition models let developers pick between a set of models that vary in size and accuracy to best suit what their application needs.

  • Cairo 1.15.6 Released

    It’s been a half-year since the last release of the Cairo 2D graphics library, but that changed this week with the new Cairo 1.15.6 snapshot.

  • OW2 Consortium: Building Beyond Europe

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of OW2, and the organization is celebrating during its annual conference, on June 26-27, in Paris, France. OSI GM Patrick Masson sat down with Cedric Thomas, CEO of OW2 to learn more about the foundation, it’s accomplishments over the past 10 years, and what’s in store for the anniversary celebration.

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Affiliate Membership Program is an international who’s who of open source projects, advocates, and communities: Creative Commons, Drupal Association, Linux Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Open Source Matters (the foundation supporting Joomla), Python Software Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, WordPress Foundation and many more. Open source enthusiasts outside Europe may not be as familiar with another OSI Affiliate Member, OW2, however its impact on open source development and adoption across the EU has been significant.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Hands-on with Chrome’s wild new mobile interface

        As phones get bigger and bigger, putting all the controls at the top of the display—Desktop OS style—becomes less and less ergonomic. Phones like the Galaxy S8 Plus have displays that are about six inches tall, so there is no way most people can reach the top of the display one-handed. It’s with this in mind that Google is totally rethinking the Chrome mobile design with a new layout that puts all the controls—even the address bar—at the bottom of the screen.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 54 Web Browser Lands in All Supported Ubuntu Linux Releases, Update Now

        Mozilla launched Firefox 54 web browser the other day for all supported platforms and dubbed it as “the best Firefox ever.” The release was made available for download from the browser’s official website for Linux, Mac, and Windows OSes.

        The biggest new feature of Firefox 54, the one that makes it “the best Firefox ever,” is support for multiple content processes (also known as e10s-multi). In other words, Firefox 54 is the first release of the web browser to use multiple operating system processes for rendering web page content, making it faster and more reliable.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 11.0 is Now Here

      After several FreeNAS Release Candidates, FreeNAS 11.0 was released today. This version brings new virtualization and object storage features to the World’s Most Popular Open Source Storage Operating System. FreeNAS 11.0 adds bhyve virtual machines to its popular SAN/NAS, jails, and plugins, letting you use host web-scale VMs on your FreeNAS box. It also gives users S3-compatible object storage services, which turns your FreeNAS box into an S3-compatible server, letting you avoid reliance on the cloud. Click here to view what’s new with FreeNAS 11.0.

    • FreeNAS 11.0 Released

      FreeNAS 11.0 is now officially available, the network attached storage (NAS) centered operating system powered by FreeBSD.

      FreeNAS 11.0 features Bhyve virtualization support from FreeBSD, new hardware support via the FreeBSD 11-STABLE updates, plugin support, and performance improvements (up to around 20% faster than FreeNAS 9.10).

    • My OpenBSD Server (2) – A virtualized network with OpenBSD’s vmm

      This time I would like to go a little bit further and extend the server with a network of virtual machines, where each machine can be reached by the name of the subdomain it should represent.

    • FreeNAS 11.0 is Now Here

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Getting Started with Open Source Licenses

      With proprietary software, it’s easy for a developer to know where he or she stands. Unless you or the company for which you’re working owns the copyright to the code, it’s off limits — end of story. There’s usually not even any temptation to use the code, because the source code is usually not available.

      Moving into open source opens up a whole new world that can make things a lot easier. Suddenly, you’re not constantly having to reinvent the wheel by writing code for processes where there’s code already written and waiting at the ready. In some circumstances, you can even use open source code inside a proprietary project.

  • Programming/Development

    • Glibc Now Enables Tuning Framework By Default

      Since the end of last year Glibc has offered a tunables framework that could be exposed via the –enable-tunables switch at compile-time while now it’s being enabled by default.

    • Language servers and IDEs

      My project proposal was to create a plugin providing good support for Rust in KDevelop. I intend to deliver on that project, but I do not think at its current state RLS provides good support. That may change in the future and I’ve shown a proof of concept that KDevelop can interact with a language server. Right now, I think I can do better.

    • According to statistics, programming with spaces instead of tabs makes you richer

      The annual Stack Overflow developer surveys often include lots of bad news. “People still use PHP,” for example, is a recurring and distressing theme. “Perl exists” is another.

    • Secong Blog Gsoc 2017

      It was decided that using sql is unreasonable because of the large amount of data. Therefore, the method of storing the Postgresql json data was chosen, which makes it possible to flexibly approach the filling of the database and handle large amounts of data.


  • Wildlife Gets the Celebrity Photo Shoot Treatment
  • Using impact mapping to help your team experiment

    Impact mapping is a technique for building shared understanding between leaders and project teams. Delivered in an engaging workshop format, impact mapping is the perfect way to initiate a work stream in a way that encourages innovation. Gojko Adzic first documented the technique in a 2011 brochure; it’s an excellent guide for individuals who want to facilitate the workshop. This article aims to complement Adzic’s original text with a guide for leaders who want to sponsor impact mapping initiatives but may not facilitate the workshops themselves. In particular, I’ll provide a succinct overview of impact mapping as a practice, and then offer guidance on ways leaders can use impact mapping to establish experimentation as an expected behavior during project delivery.

  • Science

    • Chatbots learn how to negogtiate and drive a hard bargain

      Lewis and his team trained their bots on a database of more than 5000 text conversations between people playing a two-player game in which they had to decide how to divvy up a number of items. These included balls, hats and books and were worth a different number of points to different players. The aim was to score more points than your opponent by making a deal that meant you ended up with the items of highest value to you.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Cherry Blossom

      CherryBlossom provides a means of monitoring the Internet activity of and performing software exploits on Targets of interest. In particular, CherryBlossom is focused on compromising wireless networking devices, such as wireless routers and access points (APs), to achieve these goals. Such Wi-Fi devices are commonly used as part of the Internet infrastructure in private homes, public spaces (bars, hotels or airports), small and medium sized companies as well as enterprise offices. Therefore these devices are the ideal spot for “Man-In-The-Middle” attacks, as they can easily monitor, control and manipulate the Internet traffic of connected users. By altering the data stream between the user and Internet services, the infected device can inject malicious content into the stream to exploit vulnerabilities in applications or the operating system on the computer of the targeted user.

    • WannaCry attacks prompt Microsoft to release Windows updates for older versions [iophk: "distracting from the fact that the 'new' versions are also vulnerable"]

      Microsoft has released new security updates for older versions of Windows as it warns of potential cyber-attacks by government organisations.

    • Samsung forgets domain renewal, exposes millions to hackers {sic}

      Anyone who registered the domain gained a means of pushing malicious apps to the millions of devices that have the app.

    • University College London hit by ransomware attack

      The attack began on the same day Microsoft released an extremely rare security update for Windows XP and Windows Vista, warning of WannaCry-style attacks in the future using one of 16 different critical vulnerabilities.

    • The 15 worst data security breaches of the 21st Century

      Data security breaches happen daily, in too many places at once to keep count. But what constitutes a huge breach versus a small one? CSO compiled a list of 15 of the biggest or most significant breaches of the 21st century.

      This list is based not necessarily on the number of records compromised, but on how much risk or damage the breach caused for companies, insurers and users or account holders. In some cases, passwords and other information were well protected by encryption, so a password reset eliminated the bulk of the risk.

    • Georgia’s lax voting security exposed just in time for crucial special election

      Lamb privately reported the breach to University officials, the report notes. But he learned this March that the critical Drupal vulnerability had been fixed only on the HTTPS version of the site. What’s more, the same mother lode of sensitive documents remained as well. The findings meant that the center was operating outside the scope of both the University and the Georgia Secretary of State for years.

    • Don’t leave Coredumps on Web Servers

      Coredumps are a feature of Linux and other Unix systems to analyze crashing software. If a software crashes, for example due to an invalid memory access, the operating system can save the current content of the application’s memory to a file. By default it is simply called core.

      While this is useful for debugging purposes it can produce a security risk. If a web application crashes the coredump may simply end up in the web server’s root folder. Given that its file name is known an attacker can simply download it via an URL of the form http://example.org/core. As coredumps contain an application’s memory they may expose secret information. A very typical example would be passwords.

    • Login-stealing phishing sites conceal their evil with lots of hyphens in URL
    • Updates on CyberSecurity, WordPress and what we’re cooking in the lab today.
    • Linux Raspberry Pi Devices Infected by Cryptocoin Mining Malware
    • Nearly One Million Systems Provide “Guest” SMB Access, Most Are Linux

      Of these, 42%, or nearly 970,000, provide “guest” access, meaning anyone can access data shared via the SMB file-sharing protocol without needing to provide authentication.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • As the Espionage Act Turns 100, We Condemn Threats Against Wikileaks

      The federal law that is commonly used to prosecute leakers marks its 100th birthday on June 15,2017.

      Signed into law on June 15, 1917, the Espionage Act 18 U.S.C. § 792 et seq., was Congress’s response to a fear that public criticism of U.S. participation in World War I would impede the conscript of soldiers to support the war effort and concerns about U.S. citizens undermining the war effort by spying for foreign governments. Although some parts of the law were repealed, many remain in effect 100 years later.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Sue Hayman: Tory ducking and diving over clean air puts health of millions at risk

      With nearly 40 million people in Britain living in areas with illegal levels of air pollution, and more than 2,000 schools and nurseries close to roads with damaging levels of diesel fumes, today’s first ever National Clean Air Day is a timely and welcome reminder of the scale of the problem of illegal air quality in the UK.

      The situation has gone from bad to worse on this Conservative government’s watch, and has escalated into what the Commons’ cross party environment, food and rural affairs committee is now calling a “public health emergency”.

      Yet it seems at every stage the government has had to be held over a barrel in order to take action.

  • Finance

    • Infosys, Wipro, other IT companies exploring ‘uberisation of workforce’

      Pune-based Persistent Systems recently broke away from traditional practices by including several freelancers and consultants in a team that worked on a short-term project [...]

    • Every euro invested in a university generates five for the economy – or does it? [iophk: "only if the university actually does either research or teaching or both"]

      This corresponds to 6.6% of Finnish economic output, and 5.5% of total employment in Finland. It is calculated that the direct and the indirect effect of every euro invested in Finnish universities produces, on average, 5.26 euros in return. These are lower-bound estimates, and the report says the real impact is likely larger.

    • EU opens door to British return

      The political chaos in the U.K. has set off some fantasizing on the other side of the English Channel: what if Britain suddenly said “nix it” on Brexit, and wanted to stay in the EU?

      The German finance minister and veteran statesman, Wolfgang Schäuble, was among the first to give public voice to what is a private, if absurdly far-fetched, hope among many pro-Europeans. “The British government has said we will stay with the Brexit,” Schäuble said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “We take the decision as a matter of respect. But if they wanted to change their decision, of course they would find open doors.”

      French President Emmanuel Macron, asked about Schäuble’s remark, said Tuesday: “The door is obviously still open.” Macron’s statement was all the more significant because he was standing next to Prime Minister Theresa May at a joint news conference in Paris. “As long as the decision to organize this exit is not completed, it’s possible to come back on it,” Macron said.

    • Leaked tax-haven data shows that the super rich are way, way richer than suspected

      When Thomas Piketty and his team undertook their landmark study of wealth inequality in the world, they had to rely on the self-reported income of the super rich to see just how income was distributed — by definition, they couldn’t directly measure the unreported income hidden in tax havens (though they did estimate it, with what was eventually shown to be pretty good precision).

      Large-scale tax-haven breaches — Mossack-Foseca in Panama, the HSBC files from Switzerland — have provided researchers with a source of direct data on the scale of tax-evasion, and thus the true estimated wealth of the super-rich.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Can Berniecrats Reclaim the Democratic Party?
    • A Running List of People Donald Trump Has Blocked on Twitter
    • Fire Minister was among 72 Tory landlords who voted against making homes “fit for human habitation”

      Theresa May’s new Police and Fire Minister, Nick Hurd, was among the 72 Tory MPs – who are also residential landlords – that voted against a motion to make homes “fit for human habitation.”

      Many people have been reposting articles about the debate in Parliament last January in light of today’s tragedy at Grenfell Tower.

      Labour submitted an amendment to the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill designed to ensure all rental properties were “fit for human habitation.”

    • The Senate Is Keeping the Revised Health Care Bill Under Wraps

      Axios reported that one of the aides, who remained anonymous, said, “We aren’t stupid,” when asked why the Republicans weren’t releasing the bill prior to a vote. The statement points to anticipation that the bill will be poorly received by the Democrats and the media.

    • Senate GOP won’t release draft health care bill

      Why it matters: Democratic senators are already slamming Republicans for the secrecy of their bill writing process, and this isn’t going to help. Republicans are sure to release the bill at some point, but it’s unclear when — and they want to vote on it in the next three weeks, before the July 4 recess.

    • Theresa May’s popularity plunges below Jeremy Corbyn after election campaign

      The Prime Minister has plunged from a +10 net rating in April to -34 in today’s YouGov polling, which found 29% of people favourable and 63% unfavourable.

      Over the same period, the Labour leader has improved from -14 to a neutral rating, with 46% of people viewing him favourably and the same viewing him unfavourably.

    • Grenfell Tower Fire: Jeremy Corbyn Calls For ‘Luxury’ Properties To Be Taken Over To House Residents

      Jeremy Corbyn has called for empty “luxury” homes owned by foreign investors to be used to help those left homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire.

      The Labour leader said the Government should “requisition” nearby expensive properties to ensure residents were housed locally.

      His radical plan came as MPs met for the first time to discuss the blaze that left 17 people dead, with scores missing and many left in a critical condition in hospital.

      Speaking during an emergency meeting in the House of Commons with Fire and Policing Minister Nick Hurd, Corbyn said that he was “very angry” that so many people had lost their lives in the blaze in the west London tower block.

      Hurd described the Grenfell Tower fire as a “national tragedy” and said a full search was “unlikely to be feasible for some time”.

    • Here’s the difference between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May’s visits to Grenfell Tower

      Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn visited Grenfell Tower this morning, to see the devastation caused by the high-rise fire had caused.

      Police have confirmed the tragedy has claimed the lives of at least 17 people, with many more unaccounted for as firefighters perform a fingertim search through the building for victims.

      Mrs May and Mr Corbyn have both issued statements offering condolences to those affected and the families of those who died and are missing.

      And Mrs May announced a judge-led inquiry into the causes of the blaze, and the lessons that can be learned.

    • Credit pours in for Corbyn’s statesmanlike response to Grenfell Tower disaster

      Credit has poured in for Jeremy Corbyn’s statesmanlike response to the Grenfell Tower disaster which has claimed at least 17 lives and left hundreds of people homeless.

      The Labour leader was pictured at the scene today hugging victims of the tragedy and meeting with local resident at St Clement’s Church in west London.

      Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with emergency service crews but reportedly refused to meet any survivors of the tragedy and blocked media access.

    • The Rise of a Genuine Left in Britain and Its Implications for the Middle East

      The other day a friend almost told me off when I said I don’t exclude even an election win for Corbyn, but I certainly exclude the possibility that the Tories are going to romp home.

      He was not the only person with this view. Once again, the great majority of observers throughout the world, but also politicians, proved completely wrong in their forecasts. Having succeeded in controlling the totality of public life, political correctness has fallen victim to its own success, reaching the point where it deceives itself, mistaking its own pronouncements for reality.

      There is nothing accidental about this. It is a systematic, not a random error and this is why it is constantly being repeated. It was seen in the referenda in the Netherlands and Britain, in the elections in the US and France, in the Spanish Socialist Party, and now again in Britain.

    • People Are Comparing Theresa May And Jeremy Corbyn After Their Grenfell Tower Visits

      Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn made separate visits to Grenfell Tower in west London on Thursday after a fire in the building killed at least 17 people and left dozens more in hospital.

      The prime minister spoke to police officers and emergency services at the bottom of the tower block on Thursday morning, during a visit that was kept private. She did not speak to the media or appear to speak to survivors of the incident. Armed police were at the scene.

      Shortly afterwards, the Labour leader arrived later at St Clement’s Church and was surrounded by a crowd of local residents who flocked around him as he got out of his car.

    • Theresa May’s personal ratings plummet as support for Jeremy Corbyn surges

      Theresa May personal ratings have plummeted while Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity has surged since the General Election, according to the latest poll.

      The Prime Minister’s net favourability score has fallen from +10 in April to -34 , which is the level the Labour leader was on in November last year.

    • Gerry Adams says Tory-DUP deal in breach of Good Friday Agreement

      Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams warned British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday that any agreement between the Tories and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) would be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • New York Legislators Trying To Make A Bad Publicity Law Even Worse

      If there’s been a good right of publicity law enacted, we’ve yet to see it. Ostensibly enacted to prevent celebrities’ likenesses, words, etc. being used in way they wouldn’t approve of, the laws are usually deployed by dead celebrities’ families to censor speech. Most of the censorship activity focuses on commercial use of dead public figures, implying endorsements from beyond the grave. But the laws have also been abused to shut down biographical projects and, in one notable case, was used by a deposed and jailed dictator who though Activision should have paid him something for using his likeness in a Call of Duty game.

    • [Older] China’s broadcast regulator, tightening control of content, promotes ‘core socialist values’

      A key Chinese regulator has issued a notice demanding broadcasters distribute programs that promote “core socialist values”, and “forcefully oppose” content that celebrates money worship, hedonism, radical individualism and feudal thought.

    • [Older] China closes 60 celebrity gossip social media accounts

      They must also “actively propagate core socialist values, and create an ever-more healthy environment for the mainstream public opinion”, it added.

    • UN Rapporteur demands respect for freedom of expression online

      The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye has released a new report, which gives an overview of the problems for freedom of expression and opinion in the Telecommunications and Internet Access Sector. The report also provides general recommendations for states and private actors on topics such as digital access, net neutrality, government access to user data, and freedom of expression.

    • Judge: Sure, These Bloggers Are A Bunch Of Jerks, But They’re Not Engaged In Defamation

      How much does it take to cross the line into defamation? Far, far more than the plaintiff in this case would have hoped.

      It started as so many defamation cases do: with the president of a property association drawing the criticism of other residents. Anthony Milazzo — winner of the condo association’s presidential election (and local dentist) — was accused of many things by residents on a self-appointed watchdog’s blog. As Eric Goldman points out, the blog’s owners were rather proud of the site’s ability to spread criticism and harvest outraged responses.

    • The Chilling Effects Of A SLAPP Suit: My Story

      Last week, I presented at the always excellent Personal Democracy Forum event in NY, talking publicly for the first time about the lawsuit that’s been filed against us. Specifically, what I chose to talk about is the real chilling effects that such a lawsuit can have — and has already had on us. We’ve written about SLAPP defamation suits for many, many years. But it’s (unfortunately) different (and much, much worse) to experience it yourself. You can see the video here, which got more emotional than I had expected it to be.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Unnamed Tech Company Challenged 702 Surveillance Order

      In response to FOIA lawsuits, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence turned over two (!) stacks of FISC documents pertaining to Section 702 surveillance. One document [PDF] (from an ACLU lawsuit) reveals a tech company (whose name is redacted) refused to hand over (or provide access to) communications requested with a Section 702 order. This order was issued in 2014, so it’s a post-Snowden challenge. The end result — determined with almost zero participation from the tech company — is an order from Judge Rosemary Collyer demanding the tech company produce the records.

      Discussed along the way to this conclusion are several things, including the NSA’s problems with the Section 215 collection. There are also discussions about the adequacy of the NSA’s minimization processes, meant to protect the privacy of US persons caught in the agency’s internet dragnet. Unfortunately, we’re not able to see much of this discussion, thanks to the opinion being heavily-redacted.

    • Look who’s joined the anti-encryption posse: Germany, come on down

      Germany has joined an increasing number of countries looking to introduce anti-encryption laws.

      Speaking on Wednesday, German interior minister Thomas de Maizière said the government was preparing a new law that would give the authorities the right to decipher and read private encrypted messages, specifically citing encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Signal.

      Such services were allowing criminals and terrorists to evade surveillance, de Maizière said, adding: “We can’t allow there to be areas that are practically outside the law.”

      He did not specify how the encryption breaking would be achieved, but did note that among the options under consideration was forcing phone operators to install software on phones that would effectively bypass encrypted apps by granting access to the phone itself.

      That stance reflects a very similar one taken earlier this week by Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who told Parliament: “The privacy of a terrorist can never be more important than public safety – never.”

    • Another Judge Says The Microsoft Decision Doesn’t Matter; Orders Google To Hand Over Overseas Data

      Microsoft may not have to respond to government demands for US persons’ data held overseas, but it looks like everyone else (specifically, Google) will have to keep trawling their foreign data stores for US law enforcement.

      The Second Circuit Appeals Court ruled US government warrants don’t apply to overseas data. Courts outside of the Second Circuit are finding this ruling doesn’t apply to Google’s foreign data storage. The most obvious reason for this is other circuits aren’t bound by this decision. The less obvious reason has to do with how Google stores its data.

    • Encryption, security and liberties: position of the “Observatoire des Libertés et du Numérique”

      For some time, political authorities are trying to question the technical and legal protections guaranteed by encryption tools. To oppose these dangerous proposals, the Observatoire des Libertés et du Numérique (Freedoms and Digital Observatory)1 publishes its position on the defence of the right to encryption, a tool indispensable to protect freedoms in the digital age.

    • Let’s Search Random Computers for Porn! Without a Warrant!

      Warrant? Hah! Did John Wayne ever get a warrant? Fourth Amendment, you say? We don’t need no stinking amendments around here. We’re Geek Squad and we’re on the side of THE LAW, so if we find anything illegal on your computer and hand it to the FBI, you have no right to complain, pilgrim, and we deserve a reward!

      The FBI seems to agree with the “deserve a reward” statement, because they have been giving Geek Squad employees $500 or $1000 rewards for finding porn on repair customers’ computers.

    • How a crippling shortage of analysts let the London Bridge attackers through

      Last Tuesday, in the wake of the latest terror atrocity to strike Britain, the former head of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington recalled just how primitive intelligence gathering used to be. Addressing a conference of security officials in west London – four miles from London Bridge where the terror attack had taken place three days earlier – Rimington recounted an anecdote about how her spy training in the 1970s involved infiltrating a local pub to eavesdrop on targets.

      Over the four decades since then, intelligence gathering within Britain’s security services has evolved beyond comparison. Eking out a lead is no longer an issue – instead extraordinary volumes of information are relentlessly harvested electronically. The worry, according to experts, is whether they are acquiring too much.

    • How BAE sold cyber-surveillance tools to Arab states

      A year-long investigation by BBC Arabic and a Danish newspaper has uncovered evidence that the UK defence giant BAE Systems has made large-scale sales across the Middle East of sophisticated surveillance technology, including to many repressive governments.

      These sales have also included decryption software which could be used against the UK and its allies.

      While the sales are legal, human rights campaigners and cyber-security experts have expressed serious concerns these powerful tools could be used to spy on millions of people and thwart any signs of dissent.

      The investigation began in the small Danish town of Norresundby, home to ETI, a company specialising in high-tech surveillance equipment.

    • IT lobby group says govt making encryption policy ‘on the run’

      “This government appears to have not learnt anything from past technology initiatives that were implemented on the run. In typical fashion, there appears to have been no serious consultation with experts and disregard for (or no understanding of) the complexities involved.”

    • Mattel’s CEO Thinks Internet-Connected Toys Are the Future

      The chief executive officer, who started in February, told analysts that she wants shift Mattel away from being a vendor of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels at physical stores and into a company centered on mobile technology and activities. The strategy will be funded in part by reducing the dividend 61 percent.

    • Now the FTC wants a word with Uber

      It isn’t clear exactly what has the FTC investigators interested in Uber, which was reported earlier today by Recode. The site speculates that it could be the employees’ use of “god view,” a tool that was used by some Uber employees to track the locations of some politicians and celebrities.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • As Republicans push ringless voicemail spam, Democrats take consumers’ side

      US Senate Democrats today asked the Federal Communications Commission to protect consumers from ringless voicemails, which let robocallers leave voicemails without ringing your phone.

    • EU mobile roaming charges end today, but beware of other costs
    • Done roaming: Four acts, no heroes, plenty of pratfalls

      Europe’s 13-year battle to end mobile roaming fees — which finally comes to a close Thursday — had it all: from septuagenarians in leather and stilettos to 3 a.m. screaming matches.

      For lower-ranked EU officials, as I was at the beginning of the project, ending roaming was a romantic crusade. It was EU policy you could believe in, benefit from, and sell to the masses.

      Working from 2011 as the Commission’s digital spokesperson, I helped commission opinion polls for the EU that showed 94 percent of Europeans supported an end to roaming charges.

    • EU scraps mobile roaming charges – for now

      The Roam Like Home legislation effectively bans service providers from adding extra charges to mobile calls, text messages and downloads made on phones registered in one EU country and used in another.

      It was brought in to prevent consumers receiving huge bills after downloading films or other data while travelling in Europe, but watchdog Which? has warned that differences in providers’ tariffs could lead to unexpected costs.

    • Verizon Gets A Wrist Slap For Years Of Neglecting Its Broadband Networks In New Jersey And Pennsylvania

      For much of the last decade we’ve noted that Verizon received billions in tax breaks and subsidies for fiber optic networks that were only partially deployed. From New Jersey to Pennsylvania, from New York City to Philadelphia, newswires the last few years have been filled with complaints from consumers and governments who say the company didn’t finish the job it was handsomely paid to complete, leaving a patchwork of spotty next-gen broadband availability, and entire cities filled with customers still paying an arm and a leg for circa 2002 DSL speeds.

    • PSA: Commenting on FCC net neutrality plan could make your e-mail public

      If you’re one of the many people filing comments on the Federal Communications Commission plan to gut net neutrality rules, be aware that your e-mail address and any other information you submit could be made public.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Indigenous People Ask For More Involvement in Decision Making At WIPO

      Different representatives of indigenous people shared their views and concerns on the protection of the rights of indigenous people and local communities during a side event at the World Intellectual Property Organization this week. Speakers underlined the need of consultation of indigenous people during negotiations about their rights.

    • TRIPS Council Members: Defining IP Rights And The Public Interest

      TRIPS Council meetings are held in closed-door sessions despite the apparent absence of sensitive issues on the agenda.

    • Copyrights

      • Grand Theft Auto modding project folds following Take-Two’s demands

        A Russian developer behind the popular Grand Theft Auto V modding tool Open IV said the project is being killed off in the wake of a cease-and-desist demand from game maker Take-Two. The tool has paved the way for all types of GTA modifications.

      • Bob Dylan accused of plagiarism in his Nobel lecture

        A writer has charged that rock legend Bob Dylan lifted sections of his Nobel Prize lecture from SparkNotes, the free online study guide aimed at students.

        Dylan, the surprise winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, last week delivered a long-awaited lecture that was a requirement to receive the eight million kronor ($923,000) prize from the Swedish Academy. Author Andrea Pitzer, analysing his lecture for the news site Slate, said she found striking similarities between Dylan’s quotations and the summary of Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby-Dick found on SparkNotes.

      • Pirate Bay can be held liable for copyright infringement, ECJ rules

        The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that The Pirate Bay can be held liable for copyright infringement, despite not storing infringing material.

      • “Top ISPs” Are Discussing Fines & Browsing Hijacking For Pirates

        Some of the “top ISPs” are in “very thorough” discussions with anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp over proposals to hijack the browsers of alleged pirates until a fine is paid. Rightscorp is presenting this as an opportunity for ISPs to avoid being sued as well as a way to generate profit for the company.

      • Finnish Market Court cracks down hard on copyright trolls in new ruling

        The Finnish Market Court made a ruling where they referred to the Tele2 decision in the European Supreme Court, and effectively said that indiscriminate copyright extortion letters violate human rights.

      • Standing with Diego

        A few weeks ago, we joined the global open access community in celebrating that Diego Gomez had finally been cleared of criminal charges for sharing scientific research over the Internet without permission. Unfortunately, the fight is not over yet. The ruling has been appealed to the Tribunal de Bogota, a Colombian appellate court.

Software Patents in Europe Are Still Promoted by the EPO, Even in Defiance of the Ban

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This EPO presentation from just months ago spoke of software patents (“CII”). Photo credit: EPO Patent Information Conference 2016 (Grant Philpott)

Summary: The European Patent Office continues to ignore the directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, which had software patents disallowed with an overwhelming majority of 648 to 14 votes at the European Parliament

THE patentability of software in the US patent system, or at least the enforceability of such patents in courts, is in a sharp decline. We have a lot of articles about that coming (several dozens of drafts), but EPO is a priority for now.

“Has it been privately decided in Battistelli’s secret penthouse that patent quality no longer matters, only the perception/illusion thereof?”Software patents are not permitted in Europe, yet in public events the EPO's spokespeople have the audacity to repeatedly defend and promote these. It pushes in a similar direction in India, which has similar laws for similar exclusions (athough India’s patent office actually obeys these exclusions, unlike the EPO).

The EPO further expanded to patents on life and genome (not a joke!) and days ago we saw some press release and coverage about Transgenomic. How far will the EPO go? Has it been privately decided in Battistelli's secret penthouse that patent quality no longer matters, only the perception/illusion thereof? Stakeholders were not consulted about this and many holders of EPs will inevitably see the value of their patent/s perish.

“Software patents are not allowed in Europe.”The EPO is pushing software patents again, in defiance of the law (see paragraph 3 in this epo.org Web page) that EPO promoted here and also (about a day later) here. To quote the relevant part: “The consequences for the patent system are potentially tremendous, and they challenge some of the fundamental concepts of the system, such as the definition of “industry” and “inventor”. There will be a greater overlap and interplay between the types of rights, and as software pervades through all technologies a greater debate on the patentability of software.”

There was already a debate and it was concluded. Software patents are not allowed in Europe. We wrote about the above, “Industry 4.0″, several months ago, and particularly about how it was used by the EPO to promote software patents, not just in the past but also at present.

“…Siemens had a lot to do with the push for software patents in Europe, not just in Germany…”This report which the EPO is promoting this week was quoted as saying that “They [presumably those who actually produce software] feel that software patents must be abolished or greatly restricted.”

Attributed to Siemens, a top patentor at the EPO, is this quote: “novel hardware in order to be patentable is “an alarming development”…”

As we wrote here a very long time ago, Siemens had a lot to do with the push for software patents in Europe, not just in Germany [1, 2].

Leaked: Job Advertisement for Removing Battistelli From the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli job ad

Battistelli job ad

Battistelli job ad

Summary: In spite of rumours that Benoît Battistelli would pursue elongation of his term, in clear defiance of the rules (again), paperwork is being put forth to replace him

THE supporting evidence for Battistelli’s upcoming replacement and departure (next year) has been sent to us. We wrote about it after German media had mentioned it. The vacancy note can be seen as ‘having a go’ at Battistelli for his poor skills, for reasons we explained 2 days ago.

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