Feeds

Eurolinux goes ballistic over Euro patent ‘coup’

EPO totally out of control...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The Eurolinux Alliance has called for the sacking of the board of the European Patent Office, following what it describes as a "juridical coup" mounted by the Munich-based outfit. The "coup" takes the form of a new EPO examination directive which effectively extends patents "to software, business methods and mathematics... and for the first time officially sanctions direct patent claims to 'computer program products' and 'computer programs'."

The amendments were made, according to the EPO, "to bring the Guidelines into line with EPO board of appeal case law concerning the patentability of business methods and computer-related inventions and with current EPO practice on examining such subject-matter." But according to Eurolinux they effectively pre-empt an EU decision on the patentability of software. They cover computer programs as "computer-implementable inventions" and allow programs to be patented where they have a "further technical effect". And how many programs do not?

The EPO was never going to be flavour of the week at Eurolinux anyway, but this little piece of manoeuvring has triggered a full-scale explosion. It "constitutes an assault on democracy in Europe and a provocation against European governments, which... had decided to preserve the exclusion of computer programs from patentability." It is "a violation of article 22 of the European Patent Convention."

The EPO "has extended the realm of patentability through decisions of low-level appeal courts. The European Patent Office has tried to circumvent the democratic control of European Governments through adventurous [nice turn of phrase] administrative processes. The European Patent Office ignores its ruling authorities... The European Patent Office scorns the 80% of software companies who are against software patents..."

So... Eurolinux demands that the EPO be made to act in "a controllable and sensible way." But as "control and common sense do not seem to be appropriate terms for the current behaviour of the European Patent Office," governments should make it clear that the EPO's granting of patents on computer programs and "immaterial innovations" is legally questionable, and "does not correspond to governmental public policy goals."

Governments should sack the current board and appoint a war crimes tribunal (we made that bit up) "to investigate its responsibility for repeated violations of the European Patent Convention, contempt for the legislative process and public interest." Tumbrils all round... ®

Related Links:
Federation for a Free Information Infrastructure
Eurolinux Alliance
Enigmatic but significant EPO press release

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.