Feeds

EC begins new pan-European patent love-in

Or is it a war?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Yesterday's public hearing on the future of pan-European patent legislation has been hailed as "day one" in a new war on software patents, as support gathers for the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA).

Commissioner Charlie McCreevy maintained his backing for the EPLA, which he describes as a promising route forwards.

But critics of the scheme argue that it will make the cost of pursuing a patent lawsuit even higher than it already is, and accuse McCreevy of siding with big business. They also worry that the EPLA would give too much power to the European Patent Office, without a corresponding increase in accountability.

The EPO is also regularly criticised for granting patents with too broad a scope, and free-software advocates are concerned that under an EPLA, more software and business method-type patents would be granted.

Anti-software patent campaigner Florian Mueller was one of around 50 people to address the hearing, which had around 200 attendees. The vast majority of those speaking were supporters of the EPLA, but there were a few surprising dissenters, such as "Nokia's Tim Frain [who] voiced a sceptical position on the EPLA", Mueller said.

Frain outlined six areas of concern including comparative costs, the quality of judicial decisions, and "a need to balance the interests of right holders and alleged infringers", Mueller added.

Frain told the hearing that while the EPLA in its proposed form is "good for right holders", Nokia is not always the plaintiff, but sometimes the defendant in patent lawsuits.

He said that Nokia was also worried about a pan-European litigation process, since Nokia generally only enforces its patents one country at a time. He worries that a pan-European injunction would be disruptive for business.

Mueller predicts the next step for the Commission will be to determine whether or not the EU needs to be involved in finalising the details and application of the EPLA. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.