The European Parliament approving the unitary patent is bad because: Patents become a lot cheaper, which means more patents, which means more restrictions and litigation. People can now get one patent that’s valid in 25 countries (the EU minus Spain and Italy), instead of making 25 separate applications involving many Read more…
The unitary patent proposal has been floating about for years, under various names, but it seems to now be getting dangerous. I don’t know all the details of the current situation and I haven’t found a satisfying overview, so I’ll point you to a list of pages and then discuss Read more…
There are no patents involved in the SAS Institute v. World Programing Ltd case, but there’s a very interesting statement from the European Court of Justice’s legal advisors, the Advocates-General: To accept that a functionality of a computer program can be protected as such would amount to making it possible Read more…
The folks at unitary-patent.eu have made a video to explain the dangers of this proposal: A presentation about the unitary patent (For further information, see en.swpat.org/wiki/Unitary_patent )
ESP ed. note: The following article by Richard Stallman was originally published in The Guardian. I’m republishing it here verbatim. For ESP’s information this topic, see the ESP wiki article Unitary patent.
Originally published in The Guardian. Re-published here with permission:
Copyright 2011 Richard Stallman
Released under the Creative Commons Attribution Noderivs 3.0 license.
Just as the US software industry is experiencing the long anticipated all-out software patent wars that we have anticipated, the European Union has a plan to follow the same course. When the Hargreaves report urged the UK to avoid software patents, the UK had already approved plan that is likely to impose them on the UK.
An unexpected, good result: after more than a year and a half of review (referral G3/08), the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal has declared that the four questions posed were all inadmissible. The patent office is thus does not have the power to decide for itself whether or not software should be patentable.
Following a public consultation in April 2009, the European Patent Offices’s internal “Enlarged Board of Appeal” today published their review of their policy of granting software patents. Early analysis suggests they rubber stamp their current practice.
The latest leaked ACTA document shows that the EU, USA, and Japan are pushing to extend the this draconian treaty to cover patents! This eye-popping proposal would give patent holders the power to send a cease-and-desist letters to software developers, with threats such as paying the “lost profits” of the patent holder and having the developer’s computer broken and sending the developer the bill for the destruction!
ESP responds to the European Patent Office’s consulation about the exclusion of computer programs from patentability
The following is the Amicus curiae brief submitted by End Software Patents regarding the European Patent Office’s referral “G 3/08” on the interpretation of EPC Art.52.