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[News] EBoA Ruling in Europe About Software Patents Seems Imminent

  • Subject: [News] EBoA Ruling in Europe About Software Patents Seems Imminent
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 23:00:30 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

Year Ahead: Reforming Global IP Systems - Trends In A2K In 2010 

,----[ Quote ]
| For the Free Software Foundation Europe and 
| the Foundation for a Free Information 
| Infrastructure (FFII), 2010 looks like a 
| decisive year given that several 
| interesting decisions will be taken on the 
| patentabilty of software, business 
| processes and conventional seeds. Four 
| questions about computer implemented 
| inventions and their patenting have been 
| referred by Brimelow to the EPO Enlarged 
| Board of Appeal and a decision can be 
| expected soon, even if the referral itself 
| is rejected. 
| [...]
| The free and open source software model 
| might be a better alternative to patenting 
| and then ârepairingâ possible barriers to 
| technology transfers, said Karsten Gerloff, 
| president of the Free Software Foundation 
| Europe. It might be possible to transfer 
| this model to other technology areas like 
| climate technology, he said. In any case, 
| information technology related climate 
| technology would gain through free and open 
| source software.
| The FSFE, according to Gerloff, will follow 
| closely the work by the EU Commission on 
| the European Interoperability Framework 
| (EIF), which consists of a set of 
| interoperability guideline documents for 
| European Public Services. While the first 
| draft resulting from consultations in 2008 
| contained solid references to open 
| standards and open source software, 
| according to the FSFE, these had vanished 
| from a second draft leaked last September. 
| Six member states filed objections against 
| this second EIF draft, according to the 
| Ignoring open standards and open source 
| software has a series of disadvantages, 
| according to the free and open source 
| software organisations, from anti-
| competitive effects against smaller 
| software companies to proprietary formats 
| for public content.
| A second focus of the FSFEâs work in 2010 
| is the relationship between standards and 
| patents. âIn our view, patents that are 
| part of standards have to be licensed 
| royalty free,â said Gerloff. While 
| standardisation bodies like the World Wide 
| Web Consortium or the Internet Engineering 
| Task Force this worked well, in other 
| organisations like the International 
| Standards Organisation, reform is 
| necessary, he said. âThere is a lot of work 
| to do.â



Amicus letter of Donald E. Knuth

,----[ Quote ]
| Prof. em Donald E. Knuth, the algorithm pope, sent an Amicus Curiae letter to
| the European Patent Office in the case G03/08 and expressed his desire
| to âinnovate in peaceâ...


EU software patent issue goes to appeals body

,----[ Quote ]
| Alison Brimelow, president of the European Patent Office, has referred the
| deeply contentious question about how to assess the patentability of
| software-related inventions to her office's top appeals body, the enlarged
| board of appeal (EBoA), the EPO said late Friday.
| [....]
| In November 2006 Neal Macrossan, an Australian entrepreneur software
| developer, lost an appeal against the U.K. Patent Office's rejection of his
| patent application. He wanted patent protection for a method for producing
| documents "for use in the formation of a corporate entity using a data
| processing system."
| On the same day the U.K. Court of Appeal threw out a challenge against a
| patent owned by IT company Aerotel for a computer program that created a new
| network infrastructure for a group of computers.
| The three judges presiding over the cases considered the first a business
| method, and therefore unpatentable, while the second was seen as a patentable
| hardware change. Another U.K. judge called for a referral to the EPO's top
| appeals body to clarify the law concerning software patentability.

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