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Submission + - EU central court could validate software patents (guardian.co.uk)

protoshell writes: "Software patents in Europe could be validated with a central patent court", warns Richard Stallman in an article published in the Guardian. After the rejection of the software patent directive in 2005, large companies has shifted their lobbying towards the validation of software patents in Europe through a central patent court, which is foreseen with the Unitary Patent project. Even if the European Patent Convention literally excludes software from patents, the European Patent Office and the German courts interprets the exclusion narrowly, which makes software patents valid at the end.

Comment Re:Stop Using that Term (Score 1) 179

"How exactly is German case law relevant here?"

German judges are the number one candidates to populate such european courts. There is now a series of decisions in Germany, notably the Siemens document generation patent, which has abolished the exclusion of software patents in DE:

http://translate.google.be/translate?u=http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Bundesgerichtshof-ebnet-Weg-fuer-Softwarepatente-1003190.html&sl=de&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8

"The relevant case law is the case law of the boards of appeal of the EPO"

Administrative tribunals run by patent examiners without a law degree do not produce case law.

"why should a software engineer be privileged over an electrical engineer"

Because software authors write code, and deserve freedom of expression.

The EPO invented the term "computer implemented invention" in the late nineties because they knew that the Berne Convention was already protecting "computer programs" as literary works.

Authors are spoiled from the right to benefit of the fruits of their work.

As far as I know, electrical engineers have to deal with physical forces and all that, not with a text editor.

Comment Re:./, I'm disappointed (Score 1) 179

"It's not linked to software patents"

Of course it is linked, do you really believe that they wont file any software patent in the field of "Information and Communication Technologies":

http://www.agglotv.com/?p=15499

"Le domaine d’intervention prioritaire du fonds sera dans un premier temps les nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication"

Maybe they will stick themselves to resistors and hardware, but it is obvious that 95% of patents in "ICT" are now software.

Comment Re:Stop Using that Term (Score 1) 179

"Someone please explain to me how the Unitary patent is a push towards software patents"

Thats very simple, take the German case law and make it the default for the whole of Europe.

"why software patents are a bad thing"

Because it is insane to ask authors to check zillion of claims before being able to write a piece of code.

Software

Submission + - France to launch a national patent troll (numerama.com) 2

zoobab writes: "France is creating a state sponsored patent fund, FranceBrevets, which primary focus will be to sponsor, acquire and license patents in the ICT (read software patents) sector. The patent fund is at the initiative of the minister of Research, Valérie Pécresse, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and digital economy, Eric Besson. The primary target of the fund is to collect licenses on those patents, which is already seen in France as the biggest patent troll of the country. France is also supporting the European Unitary Patent, which is seen by many at the final attempt to validate software patents in Europe."

Submission + - "No Power for the Parliament" warns EPO examiners 2

zoobab writes: The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, warning of risks for the European Parliament to be "circumvented" as a legislator when the EU will accede to the European Patent Convention (EPC). The European Patent Organisation is everything except a model of democracy: national patent offices are in power, there is no parliament involved in the decision making process, and diplomatic conferences are held behind closed doors. There are plans to create a central patent court in Europe, which would operate in a democratic vacuum, as it would not be counterbalanced by any legislative assembly, let alone the European Parliament. Such central patent court could also validate software patents via caselaw (as it was recently done with the Microsoft FAT patent by the German Supreme Court), and Microsoft, IBM or SAP are lobbying in Brussels not to reopen the software patent directive.

Submission + - EU-India treaty leaks with 3strikes provisions

zoobab writes: The draft agreement between Europe and India on Intellectual Property Rights has been leaked, and clearly mentions at its Article 34 the possibility for administrative tribunals, such as the ones currently being setup in France via the Hadopi, to shutdown internet access of suspected downloaders ("This article shall not affect the possibility for a court or administrative authority, in accordance with Parties' legal systems, of requiring the service provider to terminate or prevent an infringement"). The draft also contains provisions on ISPs liabilities. The European Commission is also pushing for ISPs liabilities for copyright infringements in the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was criticised in the public hearing on ACTA on going beyond existing EU laws and the E-commerce directive.

Submission + - Hacker Space Festival splits across locations (hackerspace.net) 1

lekernel writes: After the success of the second Hacker Space Festival, the international community of hackers are invited to participate in the multiple events of the third edition. Hackito Ergo Sum (Paris, April 8-10) will be your usual security conference. Breizh Entropy Congress (Rennes, April 15-17, submission deadline March 16) is an eclectic event themed around free culture and technologies. Les Contorsions Technologiques (Paris, May 1st, submission deadline March 20) focuses on DIY hardware. Tetalab Hacker Space Festival (Toulouse, May 28-30) will consist in conferences and workshops revolving around hackerspaces activities. Eventually, Estive Numérique (Southern Alps countryside, July 20-26) will be about autonomy and self-sufficiency in the digital age. With such events blossoming, France looks like the place to be during the next months!

Submission + - Swedish hackers in a squat fight eviction (hackerspaces.org) 4

lekernel writes: The newly opened Abbenay Hackspace in Stockholm has released a call for support in their struggle to keep their space. It was an empty office building until squatters moved in. The discussions with officials have stalled completely and the squatters live under the constant threat of police raids. Abbenay Hackspace is asking people to contact the landlord, and explain why creative spaces such as hackerspaces are important to them. Is there room for hackerspaces in major cities? Or is squatting the only viable strategy for hackerspaces in expensive areas?
Patents

Submission + - IBM says software patents drive OSS development (zoobab.com) 2

zoobab writes: "In its Amicus Brief to the US Supreme Court on the Bilski case, IBM is arguing that "patent protection has promoted the free sharing of source code [...] which has fueled the explosive growth of open source software development." IBM also argue that the machine-or-tranformation test allow software to be patented, and that "software patent protection provides significant economic, technological, and societal benefits". IBM also "finds alarming decisions in the wake of Bilski concluding that software is excluded from patentable subject matter" making references to the BPAI decisions on Ex Parte Altman. IBM also says thet are "committed to ensuring that such technology [software] is and remains patentable"."

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