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Displaying posts with tag: Intellectual Property Rights (reset)
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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What?s the gist of a hearing?

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 decision. Obviously they can’t invite everyone who is or feels …

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Manuscript for my speech at the European Commission?s upcoming hearing on the future of the European patent system

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 independent software …

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Evidence for Mark Webbink?s pro-patent directive lobbying on July 5, 2005

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 article. He knows exactly what he did.

The word “motivations” also appears in that posting. It’s really simple: on the occasion of a patent suit having been filed against Red Hat, I thought it …

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Patent infringement suit filed against Red Hat

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 specific case, however, the fact that an open source program is at the center of …

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First set of error and typo corrections to my book on the war over software patents

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.

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