10.30.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Failing SCO, Microsoft Eyes EU and Software Patents

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SCO at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Languishing case dragged on for half a decade

“[Emerson, Microsoft senior vice president for strategy] stated that Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb (of BayStar)

Readers might be wondering what all those SCO-related quotes are about. We’ve posted many of them so far today in order to symbolise and draw attention to the Halloween Documents, which intersect with today’s special day. As stated in Wikipedia, there was an “e-mail from consultant Mike Anderer to SCO’s Chris Sontag revealing Microsoft’s channeling of US$ 86 million to SCO.”

“It’s worth remembering that Novell approached Microsoft for this deal, not the other way around.”Failing copyrights libel, as implicitly suggested inside the Halloween Documents, Microsoft has already resorted to unbacked patents libel. It’s the next logical step and a last option too. That resistance phase was ignited a year and a half ago and it was empowered by the patent deal Microsoft had signed with Novell. It’s worth remembering that Novell approached Microsoft for this deal, not the other way around.

Software patents are ‘softer’ than copyrights and their legitimacy is constantly being questioned; their very existence is challenged. Software patents are still illegal in the large majority of the world, so Microsoft has reasons for concern about its unfounded claims and threats. After all, SCO was fined in Germany for such slander. Can Microsoft too be fined? Either way, there is an endless pursuit for software patents in Europe, courtesy of Microsoft, a few other companies, and the pressure groups they employ [1, 2].

In reality, owing to existing confusion and lack of clarify, “they [EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway,” says Microsoft’s Marshall Phelps.

Europe’s assignment of the infamous software patent situation to the enlarged board was mentioned here earlier [1, 2, 3]. The following report from IDG suggests that Pieter Hintjens, former head of FFII welcomes this decision.

In an interview at the beginning of this year, shortly after she took over the top job in Munich, Brimelow said she wasn’t ready to refer the software patents question to the EBoA, perhaps out of respect for her predecessor.

Now that she is ready, the reaction has been positive.

“It will be a landmark case with a sizeable effect on the interpretation of patent law even beyond Europe,” said Thomas Vinje, an intellectual property expert and partner at the law firm Clifford Chance.

Pieter Hintjens, a prominent campaigner against software patents during the political debate in 2005 and founder of software company Imatix, welcomed Brimelow’s decision.

“The (EPO) has resisted doing this for many years. In the past it didn’t want to clamp down on software patent applications for economic reasons: The EPO makes money from patent applications and renewals. Brimelow at last is taking a healthier approach, prioritizing the long-term interests of society ahead of the short-term financial ones,” Hintjens said.

There is some more background reading to this in The Register.

The European Patent Office (EPO) has asked its ultimate legal authority to look at the European Patent Convention (EPC) and issue advice on the patentability of software. The EPO said that such advice was necessary to ensure the uniform application of the EPC.

We have been writing quite extensively about what Symbian (Nokia) has done in the UK. It harmed the country’s treatment of software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; however, according to this, the situation in the UK can be impacted by the conclusions reached in continental Europe.

The thorny issue of software patents in the EU was again in the news last week. Regular readers will recall the ongoing row between the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) and the courts over the former’s application of both UK and EU case law on the extent to which computer software can be patented. The most recent round a couple of weeks back saw the Court of Appeal find the UK IPO was wrong to deny a patent to Symbian’s PC performance enhancing software. Now the European Patent Office (EPO) has sought clarification by way of a reference to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (which hears appeals against EPO decisions) seeking to clear up some of the finer points of the application of European patent law. Those clever kitties at the IP Kat reckon the referral should end some of the uncertainty over computer software at the EPO level and (indirectly) aid the UK IPO as well. Let’s hope so.

These are interesting times and an important test for the European patent system. Brimelow does not want another riot.

Software patents protest against EPO

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 26, 2022





  2. Links 26/09/2022: FocusWriter 1.8.3 and Istio 1.15.1

    Links for the day



  3. Media Censorship is Spreading and Infesting the World Wide Web

    Media and social control media are manipulating what people are reading and writing; this is done in the name of protecting us from misinformation, but oftentimes it's done to actually hide verifiable information (in order to protect a government's self-serving disinformation campaign)



  4. [Meme] Buy GitHub, Buy Systemd, Buy Canonical, Bye-Bye GNU/Linux

    Windows is losing ground fast; taking over the competitor/s is an antitrust violation, but who is left to file a complaint when bribery becomes so routine?



  5. GNU is Turning 39 Years Old in a Matter of Hours (and You're Very Likely Using It All the Time But Simply Unaware of That, Referring to It by the 'Wrong' Name)

    GNU is the project that gave us GCC (Free/libre compiler) and the GPL, among many other things; it's important to recognise the significance of its genesis 39 years ago in Massachusetts



  6. IRC Gateway Issues and Separating the Main Techrights IRC Channel From Non-Tech-Related Politics

    We're branching off to an old IRC channel (abandoned for many months already) and one of the Web gateways seems to be down at the moment (for all networks we've tested with), so please be patient



  7. Microsoft Layoffs Are Huge and Engaging With Microsoft Lowers Your Employment Prospects

    Microsoft is where people’s careers end (even if they delude themselves otherwise); it seems poetic that LinkedIn is dying, having become little but a massive waste of money and a liability



  8. Microsoft Is Vanishing From Netcraft

    Despite its so-called 'clown-first' strategy (clown computing), Microsoft is almost nowhere to be seen at the back end (server side); the media is massively inflating the perceived share of Azure, which may in fact be operating at a loss because there are layoffs and the future is sadly involving some proprietary actors like ClownFlare



  9. Why Canonical is Not a Friend of GNU/Linux Freedom and Mentioning WSL/systemd Helps Windows

    Ubuntu’s promotion of WSL is a disgrace and a reminder that we should no longer recommend Ubuntu to anyone; there are many other GNU/Linux distributions which are vastly more deserving of users and some new ones reject systemd as well



  10. Links 26/09/2022: GnuCash 4.12 and Microsoft Breaches

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft LinkedIn “Experimented” on Over 20 Million People Over Five Years and May Have Stopped Some of Them From Getting a Job

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  12. Links 26/09/2022: GNUnet 0.17.6 and Science News

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 25, 2022



  14. GNU is Not UNIX: GNU Project Turns 39

    Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a special day; 39 years since the message (announcement) below, so next year it's 40 (a major time leap in the context of software development; not much stuff lasts this long)



  15. Links 25/09/2022: Linux 6.0 RC7 and PostgreSQL-Related Releases

    Links for the day



  16. Links 25/09/2022: EasyOS 4.4, KDE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft is Trying to Eliminate POP3 and IMAP for E-mail (Attack on Commodity or Standard Protocols)

    Microsoft is trying to decommoditise (read: control) E-mail by shutting out people who use standard protocols; how long have we got before E-mail becomes a surveillance-intensive walled garden?



  18. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 24, 2022



  19. YouTube (Alphabet Gulag) Keeps Censoring Videos About Free Software and GNU/Linux

    YouTube (the Alphabet/Google Gulag) seems to be weeding out discussion of software freedom; it's a longstanding issue reported by several GNU/Linux-centric channels over the years



  20. Links 24/09/2022: pgAdmin 4 v6.14 and ONLYOFFICE 7.2 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Links 23/09/2022: KDE Weekly Outline and UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, September 23, 2022



  23. Geminispace Roughly Quadrupled in Size (and Grew a Lot in Terms of Number of Capsules) Since We Joined It Last Year

    Despite the media's apathy (pretending that Gemini does not exist or does not matter), Geminispace continues to expand and we have 42,703 pages in it



  24. [Meme] Getting Promoted (or Hired/Recruited/Absorbed Directly Into Top Management) by Knowing “The F***ing President”

    The EPO‘s own numbers indicate that as a female it's incredibly hard to get promoted at the EPO; the insiders’ joke is, you need to be a former colleague of Benoît Battistelli/António Campinos (or even a spouse) to get promoted



  25. According to EPO Data, Women Have No Place at the EPO (Unless They Fancy Being Underpaid)

    The European Patent Office, accused by a former president who was female of an “alphamale” issue, treats women poorly; incidentally, she wasn’t just the only female president in a ~25 year period but also the only non-French president in that same period (EPO diversity is a sad farce)



  26. Links 23/09/2022: PeerTube 4.3 and GNOME Report

    Links for the day



  27. Links 23/09/2022: EuroBSDcon 2022 Ahead, PowerDNS Recursor 4.5.11, 4.6.4 and 4.7.3 Out

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 22, 2022



  29. Links 22/09/2022: ExTiX 22.9, Rust 1.64.0, Weston 11.0.0, New Mesa, and OpenCL 3.0.12

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft Will Soon be Unlisted in Netcraft's Web Survey (Due to Minuscule, Negligible Market Share)

    A few hours ago this was released by Netcraft; it seems clear that Netcraft’s tables already omit Microsoft in all except 2, where Microsoft is placed last and rapidly loses share (it’ll fall out of sight soon)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts