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Posts Tagged ‘european patent office’

New Zealand Draft Patent Law Rewritten After Microsoft Meeting

August 28th, 2012 08:05 admin View Comments

Patents

ciaran_o_riordan writes “After two private meetings with Microsoft and IBM, New Zealand’s proposed new patent legislation has been changed by ‘replacing an exclusion in clause 15(3A) (which relates to computer programs) with new clause 10A. Rather than excluding a computer program from being a patentable invention, new clause 10A clarifies that a computer program is not an invention for the purposes of the Bill.’ The difference is that the new 10A clause contains the ‘as such’ loophole — the wording that is used by the European Patent Office to grant software patents. This is the same Patents Bill launched in 2009.”

Source: New Zealand Draft Patent Law Rewritten After Microsoft Meeting

ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

December 21st, 2011 12:11 admin View Comments

Android

chrb writes “An International Trade Commission judge has issued a preliminary ruling that Motorola Mobility infringed one of Microsoft’s patents. The disputed patent covers storing a meeting request on a mobile device, and was rejected by the European Patent Office as being ‘obvious.’ The judge also ruled that six other Microsoft patents were not being infringed. Experts say that this will strengthen Microsoft’s hand in collecting patent fees on Android. Microsoft recently claimed that it now collects patent fees on over half of all Android devices sold.”

Source: ITC Judge: Motorola Mobility Infringed Microsoft Patent

Europe Patent Reform Changes the Global Infringement Landscape

November 22nd, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

EU flag (150 sq).jpgWhat if a patent granted in the State of Texas were invalid in Delaware? If the United States were a loose federation of states, as originally envisioned by its Articles of Confederation (the forerunner to its current Constitution), the validity of an invention in one state may have been challenged by another. In the European Union – which is not officially bound by a federal government – inventors (including companies) may apply for a European patent. But then all 27 member states have to incorporate all those patents (or not) into their existing systems.

The principal agenda of Neelie Kroes since ascending to the vice presidency of the European Commission (the upper house of E.U. parliament) is to set forth the so-called “digital agenda” for the continent. But she’s also the standard bearer for a movement called the single market, where Europe as a whole is recognized as a unified trading partner. Key to her agenda is the implementation of a unitary patent system, where a European patent applies to every member country without question. It’s a slow march towards federalism, as well as a move to standardize the classifications of patents, including for software. But today, the pace of that march may have just sped up.

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (the lower house) announced this morning it has completed work on a standard package of continental patent reform proposals, which will now be brought to 25 of the 27 member states. (Italy and Spain, for the moment, remain holdouts.) The three main components of this plan call for the following:

  • A unitary patent system as an “adjunct” to existing methods. As the European Patent Office (EPO) describes it, inventors will still be able to apply for patents in their member countries, but through the authority of the EPO. From there, applicants will have the option of applying for “unitary effect” for the patent – meaning, to have it apply to all of Europe voluntarily. This option apparently addresses member states’ concerns raised in previous years, that a pan-European patent system would rob states of legitimate sources of revenue (applications fees, royalties, etc.). Some countries actually have stakes in the licensing of patents such as those protecting standards such as MP3. Under this “adjunct” system, conceivably those revenue streams would remain untouched.
  • Adoption of a standardized “language regime” once a translation matrix becomes operational. In other words, until machine translation makes it possible for an application in any language to be translated into English, and from there into a member state’s language, an English-language translation of the application must be provided by the applicant whenever the language of the EPO office where the patent is being filed is French or German. This relieves the EPO, for the meantime, from the burden of translating every patent it receives into almost every other language there is.
  • The creation of a single European patent court, which won’t just be a system for determining the validity of patents and patent applications. It will also serve, as the EPO describes, as “a unified patent litigation system.” The three parts of this litigation system would be a court of first instance, an appeals system, and a registry. But divisions of the first instance court will be scattered throughout the continent, with the effect being that patent infringement cases will take place on a Europe-wide level.

It may take several more years before a majority of E.U. member states adopt a unitary patent system. But once that happens, it may suddenly become economically feasible for software and intellectual property patent holders to challenge defendants in both the U.S. and Europe concurrently. With the perceived value of patents among stakeholders and holding companies alike often determined by their projected “take-home” value in future infringement suits, the question would become whether the European or American system would set the bar for the value of intellectual property worldwide.

Source: Europe Patent Reform Changes the Global Infringement Landscape

Europe Patent Reform Changes the Global Infringement Landscape

November 22nd, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

EU flag (150 sq).jpgWhat if a patent granted in the State of Texas were invalid in Delaware? If the United States were a loose federation of states, as originally envisioned by its Articles of Confederation (the forerunner to its current Constitution), the validity of an invention in one state may have been challenged by another. In the European Union – which is not officially bound by a federal government – inventors (including companies) may apply for a European patent. But then all 27 member states have to incorporate all those patents (or not) into their existing systems.

The principal agenda of Neelie Kroes since ascending to the vice presidency of the European Commission (the upper house of E.U. parliament) is to set forth the so-called “digital agenda” for the continent. But she’s also the standard bearer for a movement called the single market, where Europe as a whole is recognized as a unified trading partner. Key to her agenda is the implementation of a unitary patent system, where a European patent applies to every member country without question. It’s a slow march towards federalism, as well as a move to standardize the classifications of patents, including for software. But today, the pace of that march may have just sped up.

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (the lower house) announced this morning it has completed work on a standard package of continental patent reform proposals, which will now be brought to 25 of the 27 member states. (Italy and Spain, for the moment, remain holdouts.) The three main components of this plan call for the following:

  • A unitary patent system as an “adjunct” to existing methods. As the European Patent Office (EPO) describes it, inventors will still be able to apply for patents in their member countries, but through the authority of the EPO. From there, applicants will have the option of applying for “unitary effect” for the patent – meaning, to have it apply to all of Europe voluntarily. This option apparently addresses member states’ concerns raised in previous years, that a pan-European patent system would rob states of legitimate sources of revenue (applications fees, royalties, etc.). Some countries actually have stakes in the licensing of patents such as those protecting standards such as MP3. Under this “adjunct” system, conceivably those revenue streams would remain untouched.
  • Adoption of a standardized “language regime” once a translation matrix becomes operational. In other words, until machine translation makes it possible for an application in any language to be translated into English, and from there into a member state’s language, an English-language translation of the application must be provided by the applicant whenever the language of the EPO office where the patent is being filed is French or German. This relieves the EPO, for the meantime, from the burden of translating every patent it receives into almost every other language there is.
  • The creation of a single European patent court, which won’t just be a system for determining the validity of patents and patent applications. It will also serve, as the EPO describes, as “a unified patent litigation system.” The three parts of this litigation system would be a court of first instance, an appeals system, and a registry. But divisions of the first instance court will be scattered throughout the continent, with the effect being that patent infringement cases will take place on a Europe-wide level.

It may take several more years before a majority of E.U. member states adopt a unitary patent system. But once that happens, it may suddenly become economically feasible for software and intellectual property patent holders to challenge defendants in both the U.S. and Europe concurrently. With the perceived value of patents among stakeholders and holding companies alike often determined by their projected “take-home” value in future infringement suits, the question would become whether the European or American system would set the bar for the value of intellectual property worldwide.

Source: Europe Patent Reform Changes the Global Infringement Landscape

EU Central Court Could Validate Software Patents

August 22nd, 2011 08:00 admin View Comments

EU

protoshell writes “‘Software patents in Europe could be validated with a central patent court,’ warns Richard Stallman in an article published in the Guardian. After the rejection of the software patent directive in 2005, large companies have shifted their lobbying towards the validation of software patents in Europe through a central patent court, which is foreseen with the Unitary Patent project. Even if the European Patent Convention literally excludes software from patents, the European Patent Office and the German courts interpret the exclusion narrowly, which makes software patents valid in the end.”

Source: EU Central Court Could Validate Software Patents

Google To Translate European Patents

December 2nd, 2010 12:20 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “Internet search company Google Inc on Tuesday said it has signed a deal with the European Patent Office (EPO) to use the company’s technology to translate patents into 29 European languages that will pave the way for a simplified European patent system. Google’s deal, which comes after years of infighting, is expected to make it easier for inventors and scientists from across the continent to access information on patents with the EPO that has 38 member countries.”

Source: Google To Translate European Patents

Stallman Crashes Talk, Fights ‘War On Sharing’

September 23rd, 2010 09:32 admin View Comments

schliz writes “Free software activist Richard Stallman has called for the end of the ‘war on sharing’ at the World Computer Congress in Brisbane, Australia. He criticized surveillance, censorship, restrictive data formats, and software-as-a-service in a keynote presentation, and asserted that digital society had to be ‘free’ in order to be a benefit, and not an attack. Earlier in the conference, Stallman had briefly interrupted a European Patent Office presentation with a placard that said: ‘Don’t get caught in software patent thickets.’ He told journalists that the Patent Office was ‘here to campaign in favor of software patents in Australia,’ arguing that ‘there’s no problem that requires a solution with anything like software patents.’”

Source: Stallman Crashes Talk, Fights ‘War On Sharing’

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