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Siemens Betrays Germans by Legalising Software Patents in Europe

Semen and Siemens



Summary: The scandalous company decides not only to support Microsoft's 'Linux tax' but also to help legalise software patents in Germany

THE LEGALITY of software patents in Europe is an issue that we covered this morning.



Recently, Microsoft had its FAT software patent approved in Germany (by the court even) and now we find its close German partner (Siemens is a Windows shop) achieving the same thing. Here is an automated Google translation of the article from Heise:

Federal Court clears way for software patents



The Federal Court (BGH) HAS opened up new opportunities for patent-ability of software and procedures to Be Performed with the aid of computers.


Florian Müller from Germany has already written about this:

German high court declares all software potentially patentable



In a nutshell:

* After a landmark court ruling, the German perspective on the validity of software patents is now closer than ever to that of the US. * Basically, Germany has now had its own Bilski case -- with the worst possible outcome for the opponents of software patents. * Recently, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office upheld that approach to software patents as well, effectively accepting that a computer program stored on a medium must be patentable in principle. * Defense strategies such as the Defensive Patent License are needed now more than ever.


"Siemens get a patent on Document Generation in Germany, software patents valid in DE, call on the Bundestag," says the president of the FFII.

Siemens is a patent aggressor (see [1] below) with a recent history of many briberies [2, 3]. While Siemens is exploiting Linux it is always favouring Ballnux with Microsoft patent tax, at least in recent years [5, 8]. The supportive links below (spanning 2006-2009, so some of the links are dead now) also contain information about Siemens' scandals with the MSBBC [4]. ______ [1] Seagate found to have infringed patent, but beats lawsuit from Siemens

The last two years have seen plenty of patent litigation among storage companies, including a battle between Sun Microsystems and NetApp Inc. that is still ongoing. However, other patent lawsuits that have made a splash in the storage industry, such as Quantum’s suit against Riverbed, have been settled out of court or otherwise fizzled like this one. In the Sun case, at least one of the patents cited by NetApp in suing Sun has been taken off the table by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office due to similar enforcement issues. So far the lawsuits are looking like key talking points for those who argue the patent system in general badly needs reform.


[2] Siemens stained by multimillion bribery scandal

Hacks there have seen a ruling by a German court which named telco ministers in these countries as the lucky recipients of 77 bribes worth an estimated 12 million Euro.


[3] Bribery scandal: Siemens fined 201 million euros

All in all payments of about 450 million euros in the Com division had been classified as non-tax-deductible, Siemens declared.


[4] MPs rap BBC over Siemens deal

But public spending watchdog the PAC said BBC executives misled the board of governors about possible savings while trying to convince them to give the deal the go-ahead.

The committee of MPs found €£60m of costs was excluded when budgets were put to the governors for approval.

[...]

The PAC said the BBC was failing to manage the contract properly.

[...]

The report suggests the BBC should open up its accounts to government officials for proper scrutiny.


[5] Siemens (SI) Medical Solutions Selects SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time from Novell (NOVL) and Concurrent (CCUR)

Novell today announced that Siemens Medical Solutions, a leader in MRI technology and applications development, has selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time operating system and NightStar application development tools to improve processing performance of their ultra-high-field MAGNETOM magnetic resolution imaging (MRI) products.


[6] Siemens gets serious about open source

Siemens' outsourcing unit is snapping up some of South Africa's brightest open source minds as it readies to offer large-scale open source services to clients. Going, as it does, head-to-head with the likes of IBM and T-Systems, the company is hoping its open source strategy will find a new niche in an already highly-competitive market.

[...]

“Previously Siemens was a wholly Microsoft house and there was no inclination to offer open source,” he says. Recently, however, Siemens identified open source as having a “very viable business case”.

[...]

Siemens already has in place partnerships and agreements with Red Hat, Canonical and enterprise content management suite providers Alfresco.

With a Red Hat partnership in place Siemens will also be looking to use JBoss in place of WebSphere for its middleware needs.


[7] Siemens Develops PC-based Profinet IO Software Controller for Linux Systems

With the “Softnet PN-IO Linux” software controller from Siemens, it is possible to set up open control solutions on standard PC hardware.


[8] Siemens switches from Unix to Linux to run critical SAP systems

Siemens' IT services arm will use SUSE Linux over Unix as the de facto operating system for running 350 business-critical SAP systems and 120,000 user accounts - along with numerous web applications, web servers and Oracle database servers. €  € 


[9] Fujitsu Siemens Plans goes PC for the over 50s

The package, likely to come in under €£1,000 will include a desktop PC running Linux.

[...]

The cruel might suggest this amounts to a lifetime support promise. The even crueller might suggest having to use Linux and a chopped down set of apps might hasten the shuffling off of this mortal coil.

Still, at least without Windows the punters won't be forced to contemplate the Blue Screen of Death.


[10] Siemens IP-STB designs run Linux, do HDTV, DVB-T

Siemens of Switzerland is shipping three hardware/software reference designs for Internet protocol set-top boxes (IP-STBs). The STB-7100-series designs run Linux 2.6 on a SuperH-based processor, and support standard- and high-definition content, along with multiple access technologies, including DSL, cable, and DVB-T (digital video broadcast -- terrestrial).


[11] Levanta and Fujitsu Siemens Computers to Co-Present Webinar on "Strategies for Managing Linux in the Software Test Environment"

This free Webinar will highlight the management issues that are typically encountered when running software regression tests on Linux, followed by best practices and tactical recommendations from industry leader Fujitsu Siemens Computers.


[12] Siemens to invest in MontaVista

MontaVista's portfolio contains three Linux editions: Mobilinux, an edition optimized for use with mobile handsets and other wireless mobile devices, Carrier Grade Linux, designed for telecoms and other network companies, and MontaVista Linux (Professional Edition) for other kinds of embedded devices.


[13] Fujitsu Siemens Simplifies the Complexities of Software Testing

It's obvious that software problems are much less expensive, time-consuming, and aggravating when identified and corrected during testing rather than in post-production. Finding a way to address and automate as many of the minute difficulties associated with Linux software testing as possible will turn a necessary but time-consuming and arduous feat into a smaller and more manageable process.


[14] Collax Partners With Fujitsu Siemens Computers

"Fujitsu Siemens Computers is Europe's largest IT manufacturer, with a particularly strong public sector presence. The same profile applies to Collax with its Linux-based server solutions", explains Collax CEO Olaf Jacobi. "This collaboration will thus provide both companies with a solid basis, enabling them to use the combination of hardware and software to recruit new customers." €  "With a market share of over 22%, we have the second largest share of the German server market, and have been successfully working the Linux market for some time", notes Jens-Peter Seick, vice president, Enterprise Server Business of Fujitsu Siemens Computers. "And it is precisely in this market sector that our collaboration with Collax will facilitate the development of synergies which will primarily benefit resellers and system integrators." €  Collax develops Linux server solutions which can be operated and maintained without Linux know-how.


[15] Fujitsu Siemens Computers Offers Blade Chassis Subscription For Linux

Simplified Linux Licensing Enhances Flexibility In The Dynamic Data Center


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