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Displaying posts with tag: Intellectual Property Rights (reset)
Published my book electronically, under a Creative Commons license

My book No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union is now available for download:

The PDF file has a size of approximately 2 megabytes. In order to read the document, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. By the way, I have also published a German edition of my book on

Originally I had planned to self-publish my book in print. After the official announcement of my book in late …

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Senior researcher at Chinese Ministry of Commerce believes software patents stifle innovation

The FFII’s Swpatcnino page continues to be the most up-to-date and complete collection of links to news items concerning software patents. Here’s an interesting article that I became aware of on that page: Shanghai Daily - IPR protection hot potato not black and white

The article talks about IPRs (intellectual property rights) in general, and patents are only one of the legal devices that are counted among them. With respect to software, I prefer a clear distinction to be made between copyright and patents, and only in a few exceptional cases I consider it accurate to refer to copyright, patents and other rights by the collective term IPRs.

A significant part of the article, which was written by a senior researcher at the Chinese Ministry …

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ZDNet article on EU patent policy mentions my concerns about the EPLA

There has been some confusion in the media in recent days, following some statements made by European Commission vice president Verheugen at a pro-patent propaganda event in Brussels. Verheugen’s remarks could be interpreted as signs of optimism that the EU Community Patent (a unitary patent for the Single Market) might materialize in the foreseeable future. However, at a closer look it seems that the Commission is already trying to position other legislative measures as the near-term priority. One of them is the London Protocol, which would bring down the language requirements for European patents, and the more important one is the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA).

I have given some comments about this to ZDNet for this article.

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The EPLA is the new attempt to make software patents enforceable in Europe

A few days ago I had a series of meetings in the European Parliament, and I heard that Microsoft and SAP are already lobbying politicians to support the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA).

There are still three days left to answer the European Commission’s patent policy questionnaire, but it’s a foregone conclusion that the pro-software patent camp wants the EPLA more than anything else.

Let’s forget about the community patent for the time being. Yes, officially it’s the priority of the EU, but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. There is too much resistance against it. The FFII and I will keep an eye on developments concerning the community patent, and you’ll hear from us if anything important happens on that front, but my recommendation is that most of us take it off the radar screen.

European Patent Litigation …

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European Inventor of the Year award - and what?s wrong with it

On May 3 and 4, 2006, the European Commission and the European Patent Office will jointly present the European Inventor of the Year Conference & Gala.

There is no question that the world in general needs innovation, and so does Europe. I am all for honoring true inventors. However, this particular award series and event looks, at least in part, like an attempt to reinforce some common misconceptions and fallacies concerning innovation policy.

The involvement of the European Patent Office and the selection of nominees based on the patents they received makes a connection between patents and inventiveness that is only half-true at best. While the official and original idea of the patent system is to protect and reward inventors, the reality of more than 180,000 patent applications filed at the EPO per year (and that number is still growing) suggests that the fewest …

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First English-language reviews of my book

A couple of really nice articles mentioning my forthcoming book, No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union, have been published during the last several hours:

Jay Lyman wrote a very comprehensive and competent review for NewsForge.

W. David Gardner wrote that the book “foretells a new crusade” against software patents in Europe. Dave’s article, which succeeds in putting my book into the current political perspective, first appeared on TechWeb, then also on, an Australian site that belongs to the same network (CMP), and on …

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Announcement of the book ?No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union?

This site already went online a few weeks ago to launch this blog. Now, finally, it contains information about my forthcoming book “No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union”. For your information, here is the related press release:

Florian Mueller’s book “No Lobbyists As Such”

tells the story of the successful resistance
against the EU software patent directive

Starnberg, Germany (March 28, 2006) — Florian Mueller, the founder of the award-winning campaign, has announced his forthcoming book, No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union. On approximately 380 pages, Mueller tells the story of the legislative process that ended in July last year with a landslide vote of the European Parliament against a proposal for a software patent directive. Pre-orders …

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Saber rattling gets louder: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hints at possibility of Microsoft litigating against Linux vendors and/or users

In an interview with Forbes, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer stops short of announcing patent litigation against “Linux”:

Well, I think there are experts who claim Linux violates our intellectual property. I’m not going to comment. But to the degree that that’s the case, of course we owe it to our shareholders to have a strategy. And when there is something interesting to say, you’ll be the first to hear it.

This is almost like announcing that there will sooner or later be an announcement of Microsoft starting patent litigation against “Linux” vendors and/or users.

By “intellectual property” he must mean patents. IP is a broad term and includes diverse rights, but it’s hard to see how Linux would infringe any trade mark rights or copyrights held by Microsoft. …

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Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP: driving force behind today?s EP decision against mutual recognition

This evening I received some very important information on how today’s decision of the European Parliament against the mutual recognition of national patents came about:

Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP, who heads the Finnish delegation to the conservative EPP-ED group (the largest group in the European Parliament), took the key initiative in the EPP-ED group meeting last evening in Strasbourg. A “group” in the European Parliament is, simply speaking, an international group of likeminded political parties from multiple European countries. The German CDU/CSU (MEP Lehne’s party) and British Conservatives are particularly well-known member parties of the EPP-ED group.

After we had alerted her yesterday to the …

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MEP Lehne pushes for EU-wide mutual recognition of national patents

At noon today, the European Parliament will vote on a 67-item resolution concerning innovation policy. The proposed item 43 “calls on the Commission to ensure proper protection of intellectual property rights and to present as soon as possible a proposal for harmonisation and mutual recognition of patent laws in Member States […]“. While “mutual recognition of patent laws” is a term that can be interpreted in different ways, there is no doubt what the sponsor of this article, Mr. Klaus Heiner Lehne MEP (a German conservative), has in mind: the mutual recognition of national patents by the EU member states.

I recently received a copy of a memorandum that he sent to some of his MEP colleagues on November 29, 2005, entitled “Patent initiative for a new European patent law”. In the first part of the …

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