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Showing entries 1 to 30 of 44 Next 14 Older Entries

Displaying posts with tag: Intellectual Property Rights (reset)

This site will go offline at the end of next month (July 2007)
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At the end of next month (July 2007), this blog (and actually the entire site) will go offline.

About eight months ago, I announced that I discontinued my work related to patent policy, but that I would keep this blog online for some more time as an archive of former postings. In the meantime, I became involved with football policy and confirmed that fact in this blog. Other than that, I have not made any new postings.

I am glad to see that there was still a significant number of downloads of my electronic book as well as visits to this blog. However, if a blog ceases to deliver news, it becomes somewhat pointless after a while, and that’s why this site will be taken off the net within a little more than month. There will be no further announcements: at some point around the end of July (or maybe in early August), the site will simply be

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Helped Real Madrid with respect to European Parliament?s football policy resolution
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About six months ago, I discontinued my work in the area of patent policy and announced my reasons in this blog article. At the time, I had already mentioned the possibility of becoming involved with football policy. And that has actually happened: From early February on, I have been lobbying and campaigning again, independently but with the official support of Real Madrid, in Brussels and Strasbourg.

In late March, the European Parliament voted on a resolution on “the future of professional football in Europe”, and the European Commission is still working on a comprehensive

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Withdrawal from the EPLA debate
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I have decided to withdraw definitively from the political debate on the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA). The process itself may very well take several more years, but I will not do any more lobbying nor make any more public statements in this regard.

This year I made a lot of effort to inform politicians, the media and the public of the shortcomings of the present EPLA proposal, and I had the chance to make my contribution in the build-up to the European Parliament’s October 13 resolution, but I kept rather silent in recent weeks and will not speak out on this particular issue again. Until there is a new patent policy process in which I might participate, I will not comment on any patent-related issues. Last year I returned to the fray after

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NoSoftwarePatents Award: drawing attention to European software patents
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I wish I could say that Europe is free from software patents, but it is not. In contravention of the existing statutory law, the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to bend and break the law every day by issuing European software patents. And if the EPLA were to be ratified in its current form or any form near the present proposal, tens of thousands of existing European software patents would become strongly enforceable overnight.

Earlier this year, the NoSoftwarePatents Award campaign started in order to draw attention to the EPO’s unacceptable granting practice. That award is not linked to the original

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European Parliament specifies some of its EPLA-related concerns
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In today’s vote on its patent policy resolution, the European Parliament approved the compromise text I had previously reported on, but it also voted in favor of a few amendments.

The most notable amendment was number 7. It inserted the subclause “which address concerns about democratic control, judicial independence and litigation costs” into article 1. Two of those three concerns (judicial independence and litigation costs) had been mentioned by commissioner McCreevy in his speech in the EP on September 28. But it was a

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The making of a compromise
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In my most recent blog entry, I reported on the pretty reasonable compromise the three largest groups in the European Parliament have reached on the upcoming resolution on future European patent policy.

Meanwhile, Dow Jones has quoted Erika Mann MEP, a German social democrat who is very much in favor of software patents, as saying that the EP has, through this compromise, effectively “postponed” a decision on the EPLA. I would not contradict that assessment. The proposed resolution neither urges the Commission to drop its EPLA-related plans nor does it support the EPLA in its present form. It ends up saying very

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European Parliament: sensible compromise on EPLA-related resolution
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In this blog I have repeatedly mentioned the European Parliament’s upcoming resolution on future European patent policy in general and the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) in particular. After a long and intense debate, which went mostly unnoticed by the general public, the three largest groups (international-level parties) in the EP - the conservative EPP-ED, the social democratic PES and the libertarian ALDE - yesterday sealed a pretty reasonable compromise.  Since those three groups have about 550 of the chamber’s 732 seats, it’s a mere formality for that compromise proposal to be carried by a solid majority. The vote will take place in Brussels on Thursday of next week (October 12).

Initially, the chief negotiators of EPP-ED and ALDE wanted the EP to say an unequivocal Yes to the Commission’s plans to

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EuroOSCON presentation slides uploaded
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At the recent EuroOSCON 2006 conference in Brussels, I was both a keynoter and a session speaker. I have meanwhile uploaded my presentation slides for my keynote, New Innovation Models, Policy-Making and Lobbying, and for my additional speech, EU Software Patents Reloaded, to this Web site (as PDF files).

Unfortunately, there was some confusion on the part of the organizers, due to which I only had my slides available for the keynote but not for the session on software patents. The organizers had

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Ever more warnings against EU software patents by EPLA back door
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Almost six months ago, I firstly wrote about the effect the EPLA could have on software patents in Europe in this blog entry. I reiterated this concern on various occasions, including the Commission’s July 12 hearing. Earlier this month I published a two-page diagram and a three-page briefing document to explain the nature of the problem.

My related concerns are shared by a growing number of people and organizations. Yesterday, the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament issued

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Commissioner McCreevy recognizes legitimacy of our doubts and concerns about the EPLA
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Yesterday afternoon, the EU’s internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy spoke in the European Parliament’s plenary in Strasbourg. The speech and ensuing debate as well as the vote on a resolution of the EP that has meanwhile been scheduled for October 12, had been announced about a week before.

In his statement on future action in the field of patents, McCreevy conceded that the proposed European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) leaves a lot to be desired in its present form. Firstly he acknowledged the recent motions for a resolution filed by four groups in the European Parliament criticizing the

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Are Space Shuttle astronauts against innovation?
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Klaus-Heiner Lehne, a German conservative MEP on the payroll of a leading patent litigation firm, is not amused at recent developments in the European Parliament, and in particular he is frustrated to see that other MEPs call for a more balanced approach to patent policy. Lehne much prefers commissioner McCreevy’s push for the EPLA, the Excessive Patent Litigation Agreement (the official long form starts with “European”, but “Excessive” would be more accurate).

The day before yesterday, Lehne vented his anger by issuing

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ID group in the EP filed motion calling for balanced patent policy, criticizing the EPLA
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Yesterday three groups in the European Parliament (PES, Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL) announced their motion for a resolution on patent policy. I published their press release earlier today on this Web site.

In parallel, the Independence/Democracy group in the European Parliament (commonly abbreviated as ID or IND/DEM) filed this motion for a resolution on patent policy. The motion was put forward by Tom Wise, an MEP from the UK Independence Party who spoke out in strong terms against the software patent directive.

The ID motion is

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PRESS RELEASE: European patent controversy heating up again
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Three groups in the European Parliament (i.e., international-level parties) yesterday authorized me to distribute the press release below to my media contacts:

European patent controversy heating up again

PES, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL groups in European Parliament file motion for resolution — Proposal calls for “balance between the interests of patent holders and the broader public interest in innovation and competitive markets” — Commissioner McCreevy’s preference, the EPLA, is seen as weakening EU democracy, increasing litigation costs and “exposing SMEs to greater

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EU commissioner McCreevy: software patents are ?a goal worth pursuing?
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On Friday, EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy (whose historical ties with Microsoft and similar companies are mentioned in my book) delivered this speech on his intellectual property rights (IPR) strategy. He flew all the way up to Helsinki for an informal meeting of the ECOFIN (economic & finance) Council of the European Union.

In his speech, he said the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) “is a goal worth pursuing” and that he wanted to involve the EU in the EPLA negotiations “and bring them to finality”. He falsely claims that the EPLA would “offer valuable cost savings”: even Nokia

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Release 1.03 of my book No Lobbyists As Such
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I fixed a couple of typos in my book No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union. Thanks to Marco Menardi for having pointed me to those typos.

At a glance: How they?re trying (again) to legalize software patents in Europe
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I have previously reported in this blog how certain European politicians and patent bureaucrats are trying, once again, to give software patents a stronger legal basis in Europe. On 12 July, the European Commission held a public hearing in Brussels, and the European Parliament is shooting for a vote on a patent policy resolution toward the end of this month.

If you’d like to know why the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) is, among other bad things, a road to software patents, please have a look at this two-page diagram (PDF file). And if you’re subsequently interested in some more background information and facts, this three-page briefing document

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Working on post-hearing matters
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As I explained in this blog, it’s always a difficult decision for me to keep postponing my own project in order to work on the patent policy front. But once again, like so many times before, I have decided to do so for some more time. Given what happened at the July 12 hearing, there are some important things to do right away. I’ll talk a little more about my personal future on some other occasion, but suffice it to say that I’m still actively involved in the European patent policy debate!

A career apart from campaigning
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After I mentioned in this blog posting a week ago that I’d make an announcement on August 28 concerning my future priorities, I received different reactions. Mostly there seems to be a lot of understanding and appreciation for what I’ve contributed to the fight for balanced patent policy, and that’s great. But some people misunderstood my remark: the decision hasn’t been taken yet, and it’s not an appropriate point in time to say which outcome is more likely because a lot can still happen in one week. Come August 28, I’ll decide and announce.

What transpired from of the responses isn’t really a surprise: to many people I’m simply “Mr. NoSoftwarePatents” because that’s the context in which they first came to know me.

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Sun?s Simon Phipps? personal opinion: No Software Patents!
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I just saw this article:
http://opensource.sys-con.com/read/261119.htm

It quotes from the personal (not corporate!) blog of Simon Phipps, Sun’s chief open source executive. The first time I heard Simon speak out on patents was in November 2004 at an FFII conference in Brussels. A couple of months earlier, I had criticized him in the forum of NoSoftwarePatents.com in a way that I later on regretted. Even though the NoSoftwarePatents campaign was highly successful, there are three or four things that I shouldn’t have said or written during those days, and what I said about Simon’s credibility has the top spot among that list of


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Two more weeks of political summer hiatus
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On August 28 — i.e., in two weeks from tomorrow — the European Parliament will return from its summer vacation. You can find the EP’s calendar here: There are different color codes, and those days which have no color at all are holidays and vacation days.

While the EP is not the only EU institution, it’s clearly one of the most important ones, and its return marks the end of what is usually the slowest part of the summer season in Brussels. Upon its return, the parliament is going to take a look at patent policy again, and is in particular going to evaluate the outcome of the European Commission’s patent policy hearing that took place in Brussels on July 12. In late May, several

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GPL 3: FSF should stand firm on patents no matter what HP and other large corporations say
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I just saw this article on how Linus Torvalds on the one hand and Hewlett-Packard on the other hand reacted to the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) second draft of its GPL v3 license.

Just like Linus, I, too, have said all along that digital rights management (DRM) is not categorically illegitimate and thus must not be ostracized as a whole. While Linus still seems dissatisfied with the FSF’s proposed GPLv3 in this respect, the aforementioned article quotes Hewlett-Packard (HP) saying that based on a preliminary analysis, there’s been a lot of progress on that front.

But the article also reports that HP wants the FSF to soften its stance on patents. I can only hope that the FSF will continue to stand firm on this issue. It’s obvious that certain

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Renominated to Managing Intellectual Property magazine?s ?top 50 most influential persons in intellectual property? list
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A couple of days before Wednesday’s European Commission hearing, I learned that Managing Intellectual Property magazine, the leading international magazine for IP owners which has more than 10,000 readers around the globe, renominated me to its annual list of the “top 50 most influential persons in intellectual property”.

The first time I appeared on that who-is-who list was a year ago, and ZDNet reported on that fact under the humorous headline “Anti-patent campaigner hailed as IP hero”.

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Day One of New EU Patent War
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- PRESS RELEASE -

DAY ONE OF NEW EU PATENT WAR:
EU COMMISSION PUSHES FOR LITIGATION AGREEMENT

EU internal market commissioner McCreevy said at yesterday’s hearing
on the future of European patent policy in Brussels that he wants to
“move forward” with the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) -

Anti-software patent campaigners vehemently oppose the EPLA,
claiming it is “from a software patents point of view […] far worse”
than the directive they defeated in the European Parliament last year

Brussels (July 13, 2006) - At yesterday’s European Commission hearing in Brussels on the future of European patent policy (






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European Commission may ask European Court of Justice for opinion on EPLA ratification
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As I explained in my previous blog entry, EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy is going to announce pretty soon that he wants to help to get the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) ratified. The EPLA is a new attempt to make software and business method patents more enforceable in Europe, and beyond that effect, it would generally encourage certain types of patent holders to litigate.

But there’s a technical problem (”technical” in terms of “legally technical”): The European Commission’s legal services say the EPLA is a so-called “mixed agreement” that the member states of the EU cannot conclude on their own: they need the EU involved. To be very precise, it’s not the EU (European Union), but the EC (European

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No doubt: EU Commissioner McCreevy is determined to back the EPLA (European Patent Litigation Agreement)
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Superficially, it appears that the European Commission is going to evaluate the 2,500+ replies it received to its January 2006 questionnaire on patent policy as well as the input it will receive at this coming Wednesday’s (July 12) hearing prior to deciding how to move forward in the area of patent policy.

However, it would be naive to believe there is even the smallest doubt as to what EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy intends to do. He has decided on that a long time ago, at least a number of months, possibly as early as last fall.

McCreevy has a new game plan after his failure to push the software patent directive through last year. That directive was not his baby originally:

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What?s the gist of a hearing?
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Yesterday I published the text of the short speech I’m going to give at the European Commission’s patent policy hearing on Wednesday (July 12). I think I should explain to the non-politicos among you what the term “hearing” means in this context.

Governments, quasi-governmental bodies (which is how I’d describe the European Commission, non-judgmentally) and legislators (for the most part, that means parliaments or subsets of a parliament, such as a committee or a party) frequently conduct hearings. At a hearing on a particular topic (in this case, patent policy), politicians and their staffs listen to people who are, personally or professionally, affected by a future

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Manuscript for my speech at the European Commission?s upcoming hearing on the future of the European patent system
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This coming Wednesday (July 12), I am going to speak during the litigation part of the European Commission’s patent policy hearing in Brussels. The hearing marks the end of a consultation process that began in January when the Commission published a questionnaire, in reply to which I wrote a position paper. At the hearing I am going to deliver the following short speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Some of you may already know me as the founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, but let me start by introducing myself a little more specifically. I’m an

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Evidence for Mark Webbink?s pro-patent directive lobbying on July 5, 2005
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In my previous blog article, I mentioned the fact that Red Hat’s deputy general counsel, Mark Webbink, lobbied in the European Parliament on July 5, 2005 (the day before the EP’s decisive vote to reject the software patent bill) to keep the software patent directive alive.

I had not anticipated the kind of Internet debate that this statement would trigger, including some insulting emails that were sent to me, and least of all I would have expected Mark Webbink to call into question the “veracity of [my] statements”, which is what he did in the discussion below this LWN.net article. He knows exactly what he did.

The word “motivations” also appears in that posting. It’s really

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Patent infringement suit filed against Red Hat
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The Patently-O blog reported yesterday that a software company named FireStar has sued Red Hat over an alleged patent infringement. Patently-O also provides the complaint and the patent document, and quotes from Red Hat’s patent policy. The FireStar suit relates to a piece of software that Red Hat acquired as part of JBoss Inc.’s intellectual property.

It seems to me that the FireStar patent is quite broad, and if it is upheld, it will affect other companies as well. While I know that certain parts of the free and open source software (FOSS) community don’t like to hear this, I have repeatedly stated that FOSS projects and products are particularly threatened by software patents. In this

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First set of error and typo corrections to my book on the war over software patents
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Today I uploaded version 1.01 of my e-book, No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union. I just corrected a few minor errors and would like to express my gratitude for the corrections submitted by Alberto Barrionuevo and Péter Somogyi.

Showing entries 1 to 30 of 44 Next 14 Older Entries

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