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Showing entries 1 to 28

Displaying posts with tag: EU Member States Politics (reset)

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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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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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.

Published my book electronically, under a Creative Commons license
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My book No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union is now available for download: www.no-lobbyists-as-such.com/NoLobbyistsAsSuch.pdf

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 www.softwarepatente-buch.de.

Originally I had planned to self-publish my book in print. After the official announcement of my book in late March, I received inquiries,


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

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

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

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First English-language reviews of my book
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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 ITNews.com.au, 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?
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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 NoSoftwarePatents.com 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




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

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

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Patent propaganda in an EP motion on the Lisbon Agenda
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On Wednesday of this week (March 15), the European Parliament will vote on this joint motion introduced by the chairmen of the three largest political groups in the EP. The motion is related to the EU’s Lisbon Agenda. Item 43 of the proposed text contains some pro-patent propaganda of the worst kind:

43. Stresses the need for reforming the current intellectual property rights legislation; notes that the cost of registering a patent in the EU varies between ? 37 500 and ? 57 000 while the same process only costs around ? 10 000 in the USA and that the length and complexity of the patent procedures are major

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Position Paper
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On January 16, the European Commission (EC) announced a consultation on the future of the European patent system. An SAP official has already said that “it’s starting again”, meaning that this is the next round of the European software patent debate!

Companies, organizations and individuals who would like to tell the EU their opinion on what its patent policy should look like have until the end of this month to answer the EC’s questionnaire. But in order to do so, one has to wade through hundreds of pages of legislative proposals and related documentation. That’s why I wrote up a position paper that everyone can use to make his or her contribution and write to the EC:

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Starting My Own Blog
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This is my first posting in my own blog. Previously I posted a few comments to my Slashdot Journal, but other than that I’m a newbie WRT blogging. I also have a German-language blog (accessible via the German-language section of the Web site, which has its own URL).

The Web site will soon be fleshed out with a lot more content. In a few weeks I’m going to a announce in greater detail my forthcoming book No Lobbyists As Such - The War over Software Patents in the European Union. I decided to start the site and this blog on a preliminary basis because, within a matter of days, I’m going to publish a position paper here in reply to the European Commission’s

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Showing entries 1 to 28

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