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[News] UK Law Broken by Greed (MATHE^HSoftware MONO^HPatents)

  • Subject: [News] UK Law Broken by Greed (MATHE^HSoftware MONO^HPatents)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 17:34:21 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Netscape / schestowitz.com
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.4
Patents on Computer-Implemented Inventions: UK Courts Inching Towards EPO

,----[ Quote ]
| As a consequence of this particular piece of UK case law, the UK Patent 
| Office UK-IPO had established a practice of flatly rejecting patent claims to  
| computer program products contrary to the practice of the EPO. Last year, 
| five companies, namely Astron Clinica Limited, Cyan Holdings Plc, Inrotis 
| Technologies Limited, Software 2000 Limited and Surf Kitchen, Inc., INTERNAL 
| LINKhad appealed against this restrictive practice.    
| Now, and this seems to be quite surprising, the table appears to be turned 
| again: On the well-known EXTERNAL LINKIPKat Blog, EXTERNAL LINKMr David 
| Pearce reports that the Honourable Mr Justice Kitchin has ruled yesterday 
| that the current UK Patent Office practice of flatly rejecting patent claims 
| to computer program products is wrong.    
| [...]
| Mr Pearce characterises himself as being quite amazed by the judgment because 
| before the recent judgement he had been convinced that, under the system of 
| UK case law, there was no room for manoeuver after Aerotel/Macrossan, and he 
| asks the important question as to whether the UK-IPO can simply all go back 
| to falling into line with the EPO, or if they will judge that this one is 
| worth going further on.     


High Court allows computer program patent claims

,----[ Quote ]
| In conclusion then, Kitchin J found that the appeals should be allowed. Each 
| application concerned a computer related invention where the examiner had 
| allowed claims to, in effect, a method performed by running a suitably 
| programmed computer and to a computer programmed to carry out the method.   


Court gives hi-tech companies the power to patent software

,----[ Quote ]
| Hi-tech companies will be able to patent software programs after a key court 
| decision that may move the UK closer to Europe in its treatment of 
| computerrelated inventions.  
| The High Court yesterday said that the Patent Office was incorrectly applying 
| the law in automatically rejecting claims for computer programs, in a case 
| brought by four small British businesses.  


Related and recent:

Interview with Richard M. Stallman

,----[ Quote ]
| It is important to know this because we will always face pressure, from those 
| who are powerful and would like to take away our freedom, to surrender our 
| freedom—and they frequently offer us something attractive in exchange. For 
| instance, B’liar wanted to abolish the Rights of Englishmen, and to serve his 
| American master, Bush, faithfully; so he offered Britons “protection” from 
| this or that, plus the imagined idea that he influences his master on their 
| behalf through the “special relationship”.      
|                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Big businesses boast of patent benefits, for small businesses

,----[ Quote ]
| A report published by an EU task force on intellectual property claims
| that small businesses benefit from a patent system, despite lacking
| almost any participation by the small business community.
| Instead, the report, titled IPR (intellectual property rights) for
| competitiveness and innovation, was written up almost entirely by
| large corporations and the patent industry.
| [...]
| The report does note objections from the likes of patentfrei.de and
| Sun Microsystems, which were recorded at some length in the report.
| But this does not appear to have impacted the conclusion of the
| report in any way
| [...]
| Jean-Pierre Laisne, of ObjectWeb, an open source software community,
| said that he found the report useless: participants were told that
| all their contributions would be recorded but at the end only
| those of Business Software Alliance and Microsoft were used.


A Patent Lie

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft sang a very different tune in 1991. In a memo to his 
| senior executives, Bill Gates wrote, "If people had understood how 
| patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, 
| and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete 
| standstill today." Mr. Gates worried that "some large company will 
| patent some obvious thing" and use the patent to "take as much of 
| our profits as they want."


Leaked letter warns of open source 'threat to eco-system'

,----[ Quote ]
| leaked letter to the European Commission has revealed the extent of
| lobbying by proprietary software groups to prevent the widespread
| adoption of open-source software.
| Sent in response to a recent report on the role of open-source
| software in the European economy, Microsoft-funded pressure
| group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of
| potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given
| to open source software development.


EPO says UK patent law is clear enough

,----[ Quote ]
| Article 52, clause 2, outlines items that do not qualify for
| patent protection, under European and UK law, and includes
| "schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing
| games or doing business, and programs for computers".
| Exactly how this clause should be interpreted has been extremely
| contentious, with passionate arguments on both sides of the debate.
| Some fear that too broad an interpretation could lead to US-style
| software idea patents being granted in the UK. Others are
| concerned that if it is interpreted too narrowly, it will
| discourage innovation in the UK.


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