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02.04.10

Judge Uwe Scharen is Validating Software Patents in Germany

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 12:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Disturbing developments in Europe following heavy lobbying from Microsoft and its front groups

Judge Uwe Scharen is doing the unthinkable after heavy Microsoft lobbying for software patents in Europe. This is particularly important because Scharen “will also rule the EPO EBOA,” according to the FFII’s President (we wrote about the EBOA in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] as it affects all of Europe). He is “validating software patents in the recent BGH decision (read last page),” FFII’s President shows using the recent ruling [PDF].

Moreover, based on this report, the FFII’s President writes: “EPO is considering whether to redefine the criteria for patenting software inventions [...] German Supreme Court validates software patents, add a computer and software becomes patentable.”

The European Patent Office is considering whether to redefine the criteria for patenting software inventions.

Regarding the article mentioned here a couple of days ago, the assessment is that “the EPO case law is so full of contradictions that it cannot be followed in any meaningful way” and “a particular party made “open standards” a political issue, based on lobbyism from open source communities.”

“Talk Standards” is a Microsoft lobby, according to the FFII’s President. When asked why or how this is known he told us: “You have to compare their previous report with the previous MS report, they used the “same sentence”. Strange coincidence.”

Correction: The part “When asked why or how this is known he told us: “You have to compare their previous report with the previous MS report, they used the “same sentence”. Strange coincidence.”” was related to the patent WIPO report by ITSSD, a Microsoft proxy (in their previous submission to WIPO, they used the exact same sentence that Microsoft was using in its submission).

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway.”

Marshall Phelps, Microsoft

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3 Comments

  1. Dennis Murczak said,

    February 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Ok, I read through the ruling and decided I can’t directly translate convoluted juristic language without my head exploding. But I can summarize: Starting on page 7, the ruling explicitly refers to a paragraph about the non-patentability of software as such, and goes on to explain that not the use of a software itself, but the use of a programmed computer to solve the problem can justify patentability. It then refers to other similar rulings.

    The court still has to determine whether there is enough invention involved in the application for a patent to be granted.

    The application itself is about feeding a computer tomograph the patient’s symptomatic or diagnostic data, which makes the tomograph automatically select a diagnostic profile by use of an integrated database.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Siemens wants patents on ideas that can expressed in terms of equations alone. Maybe they should also trademark alpha and gamma.

  2. girts said,

    February 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Gravatar

    We all must stop pantenting system!!!
    No patents in world no problem for freedom!
    Judge must be informed that software patents is making big problem for innovations and freedom!!!!

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