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[News] Fear and Loathing of Intellectual Monopolies in the UK

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Fears for Companies Over Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| David Moreland, of the Glasgow office of patent attorneys Marks & Clerk, 
| criticises European Patent Office president Alison Brimelow's decision to ask 
| the industry's Enlarged Board of Appeal to examine the patentability of 
| software.   
| He says this could take years, while the software industry is in 'no man's 
| land' about what it could or could not protect.  


Nokia deserves a lot of the blame.


Symbian wins software-patent ruling

,----[ Quote ]
| "Unlike copyright, patents can block independent creations," said
| ORG. "Software patents can render software copyright useless. One copyrighted
| work can be covered by hundreds of patents of which the author doesn't even
| know but for whose infringement he and his users can be sued."
| Companies that are in favour of software patents include Microsoft, which
| encourages companies to licence software from patent owners.


Why European software patents are legally invalid

,----[ Quote ]
| Which invites the question: if the drafters intended the exclusion to be
| meaningless, why did they bother adding it? Of course, the EPO's
| interpretation isn't at all what was intended.
| A second obvious problem with the EPO's interpretation is that it doesn't
| just render meaningless the exclusion of computer programs. It renders all
| the exclusions meaningless, so games, doing business, scientific
| theories, "rules and methods for performing mental acts" (yes, ways of using
| your brain), and all the other things listed in Paragraph 2 of Article 52
| should be patentable. Which is completely absurd.
| Unfortunately, a UK appeal court has recently upheld this bizarre twisting of
| patents - and that article mis-reports the patent dangers as "protection" for
| software developers.


Nokia seeks India patent for multimedia sharing technology

,----[ Quote ]
| New Delhi, Oct 12: World's largest mobile phone maker Nokia has filed a
| patent application in India for its networking solution which allows a user
| group to share multimedia contents during a group communication.


Patenting strategies and the value of European patents

,----[ Quote ]
| No matter what the degree of adequacy or inadequacy of the system to today’s
| technology markets, a situation that is based on deliberate abuse of the law
| cannot be desirable. Therefore, either the law as it is should be more
| strictly enforced, or it should be adapted to better fulfil its economic
| purpose.


Symbian's Patently Terrible “Triumph”

,----[ Quote ]
| Although I've written elsewhere about the recent court case of Symbian v
| Comptroller General of Patents, noting that it was bad news, I hadn't
| realised quite how bad the news was until I went through the complete
| judgment.
| It's plain that the judges in question, who to their credit tried their level
| best to understand this mysterious stuff called software, failed to grasp the
| central issue of what software is. As a result, they have passed down a
| judgement that is so seriously wrong it will cause a huge amount of damage in
| the future unless it is revoked by a higher court.
| [...]
| Basically, the UK patent office appealed against an earlier appeal against
| its own refusal to grant a patent to Symbian for a programming technique.
| Yes, you read that correctly: the Patent Office was trying to get an appeal
| against its refusal to grant a patent struck down, because it didn't believe
| that the original patent application should be allowed. Through its own
| appeal, the UK Patent Office was trying to establish what could and could not
| be patented in the world of code.


Bad News on the UK Software Patent Front

,----[ Quote ]
| Well, no more unfair than not allowing physicists to patent the laws they
| discover, or the theorems that mathematicians prove. The point is, software
| is not "closer to a mathematical method", it is a mathematical method, or
| rather a concatenation of them.
| All this juridical "on the one hand" and "on the other" in the interests
| of "balance" does not change this. The current decision is seriously bad
| news, because it opens the door to even more weaselly patent applications
| that contort themselves into the magic position to gain the favour of
| whichever Jesuit is on duty that day.


Court ruling strengthens patent protection for UK software

,----[ Quote ]
| Technology companies will find it easier to safeguard their innovations in
| the UK after a court ruled that software should receive wider patent
| protection.
| The Court of Appeal said today that complex software such as programmes
| designed to make mobile phones and computers work faster can be patented in
| the UK.
| Previously, manufacturers could claim commercial exclusivity for their
| products under copyright laws but had less legal protection for underlying
| technical processes.
| As a result of the ruling, developers are likely to find it easier to secure
| approval from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which has
| traditionally been reluctant to grant patents to cover software.


Latest Decision on UK Software Patents Rejects UK-IPO Interpretation

,----[ Quote ]
| Today’s Court of Appeal decision on the Symbian case has affirmed that the UK
| and European approaches to software patentability are fundamentally
| compatible. This upholds a High Court decision which had overturned the
| rejection by the UK-IPO of an application to patent “Mapping dynamic link
| libraries in a computing device”.


Court of Appeal delivers a software patent boost in the UK

,----[ Quote ]
| Companies looking to obtain and enforce software patents in the UK received a
| boost today when the Court of Appeal ruled against the UK IP Office in its
| appeal against a decision of the High Court in the Symbian case. The High
| Court had overturned a UKIPO decision not to grant a patent to Symbian for an
| accelerator relating to iPods, mobile phones and computers.


Some learning to do?

,----[ Quote ]
| Companies like Nokia need to learn the open source way of working. This means
| not only fulfilling the letter of GPL, LGPL etc. but also the spirit. In my
| mind this means integrating the corporate work with the open source
| community, participating, contributing back the code, building the code in
| open projects and not only releasing it when mandatory, not forking, etc.


Nokia does not get it

,----[ Quote ]
| You better start playing by the rules because else the other companies might
| do it faster than Nokia and you will lose the opportunity. Oh: And just as a
| remind: when you go open source, you must play by the rules by honoring the
| license of the software.
| Really, it’s sad to listen to things like this from someone controlling the
| company who owns Trolltech  I am sure that the vice-president of companies
| like Red Hat wouldn’t say nonsense like the above. But it’s no surprise
| coming from someone in a company that seems to be absolutely in favor of
| software patents in Europe according to FFII.


Oh please, educate me, Nokia.

,----[ Quote ]
| Nokia: “We want to educate open-source developers."
| Oh please, educate me, Nokia. Actually, never-mind. Kiss my ass instead. BTW,
| I call it free software, not "open source".
| Nokia: "There are certain business rules [developers] need to obey, such as
| DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business
| models.”
| You think I need obey? I prefer civil disobedience. DRM? Why would I obey
| your plan to steal my freedom? "Intellectual property"? What's that? There is
| Copyright law and Patent law but to my knowledge, there is no "intellectual
| property" law.
| It's a good idea to Boycott Nokia. They have an exceedingly imperious and
| arrogant attitude. Didn't they just buy Trolltech? Whichever pinhead from
| Nokia wrote this garbage just did a disservice to Trolltech. It makes
| Trolltech look like obedient "open source" developers who are in the process
| of being re-educated by Nokia.


Ari Jaaksi of Nokia Wants to Educate the Linux Community

,----[ Quote ]
| But perhaps the community has some education for Jaaksi and Nokia. Jaaksi
| hosted me at a Nokia dinner in 2000, he's a nice guy and has been interested
| in Linux for a long time. But Nokia's barking up the wrong tree this time,
| because Nokia can do everything it wants with DRM, IPR, and SIM locks without
| bothering the Linux developers about it - and both Nokia and the Linux
| developers will like it better that way. It's surprising that Nokia doesn't
| understand that at this late date.

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