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[News] EPO Claims Improvement of Patent System While Microsoft Attacks GPL in Europe

  • Subject: [News] EPO Claims Improvement of Patent System While Microsoft Attacks GPL in Europe
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 23:52:21 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.9
Hash: SHA1

EU Rejected More Patents Than It Approved in 2008

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Patent Office rejected more patent applications than it passed 
| for the first time last year, in an effort to raise the quality bar in the 
| European Union.  
| The number of applicants was larger than in 2007, the EPO said in a 
| statement. 


TomTom Caught Between Microsoft Rock And GPL Hard Place

,----[ Quote ]
| This creates a problem for a company like Microsoft that wants to extract 
| licensing revenues from firms distributing GPLed software. Ordinarily, a 
| patent holder sues in the hope that it will be able to get a quick settlement 
| and a nice revenue stream from patent royalties. But the vendor of GPLed 
| software can't settle. And if the patent holder wins the lawsuit, the 
| defendant will be forced to stop distributing the software, depriving the 
| patent holder of an ongoing revenue stream. Either way, the trial will 
| generate a ton of bad publicity for the patent holder.       


“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization
of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to
make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in
defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

                        --Richard Stallman


EPO seeks to validate software patents without the European Parliament

,----[ Quote ]
| At the highest level of the European Patent Office (EPO), the legality of
| software patents in Europe is about to be tested. The FFII warns that the
| European Parliament is being bypassed by allowing a decision with EU-wide
| implications to be made without its involvement or any real debate.
| The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Alison Brimelow, has asked
| the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) to decide on the interpretation of the
| European Patent Convention (EPC) regarding the exclusion of software from
| patentability. The EBA is replacing the European Parliament in order to
| validate software patents EU-wide without the need of a debate.


Commission repeats call for single EU patent

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission has reiterated its demand for the creation of a
| single European patent. It said the absence of such a protection is hindering
| the growth of technology companies in the European Union.


Patents for software?

,----[ Quote ]
| The EPO does not grant patents for computer programs or computer-implemented
| business methods that make no technical contribution. Programs for computers
| as such are excluded from patentability by virtue of Art. 52(2)(c) and (3)
| EPC. According to this patent law, a program for a computer is not patentable
| if it does not have the potential to cause a "further technical effect" which
| must go beyond the inherent technical interactions between hardware and
| software.
| On the other hand, a CII (even in the form of a computer program) that can
| provide this further technical effect can be patentable, subject to the other
| patentability requirements, such as novelty and inventive step. In this case,
| it would be recognised as providing a technical solution to a technical
| problem.

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