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Displaying posts with tag: Information (reset)
At a glance: How they?re trying (again) to legalize software patents in Europe

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 (PDF) makes some additional reading. If you’re …

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Working on post-hearing matters

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

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. My backgrounder …

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Sun?s Simon Phipps? personal opinion: No Software Patents!

I just saw this article:

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 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 things.

Anyway, Simon has now said that “today’s software patents …

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Two more weeks of political summer hiatus

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 parliamentary groups (which are, in a simplified explanation, …

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GPL 3: FSF should stand firm on patents no matter what HP and other large corporations say

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 companies with huge patent portfolios have a certain agenda, but you can’t please …

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Renominated to Managing Intellectual Property magazine?s ?top 50 most influential persons in intellectual property? list

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”. While I’m not anti-patent in all respects (only against software patents), …

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Day One of New EU Patent War



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 (, the EU’s internal market commissioner Charlie …

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European Commission may ask European Court of Justice for opinion on EPLA ratification

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 Community, formerly called European Economic Community) that has to do this. However, for the …

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No doubt: EU Commissioner McCreevy is determined to back the EPLA (European Patent Litigation Agreement)

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: it was part of his predecessor …

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