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Patenting strategies and the value of European patents

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| No matter what the degree of adequacy or inadequacy of the system to today’s
| technology markets, a situation that is based on deliberate abuse of the law
| cannot be desirable. Therefore, either the law as it is should be more
| strictly enforced, or it should be adapted to better fulfil its economic
| purpose.


Symbian's Patently Terrible “Triumph”

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| Although I've written elsewhere about the recent court case of Symbian v
| Comptroller General of Patents, noting that it was bad news, I hadn't
| realised quite how bad the news was until I went through the complete
| judgment.
| It's plain that the judges in question, who to their credit tried their level
| best to understand this mysterious stuff called software, failed to grasp the
| central issue of what software is. As a result, they have passed down a
| judgement that is so seriously wrong it will cause a huge amount of damage in
| the future unless it is revoked by a higher court.
| [...]
| Basically, the UK patent office appealed against an earlier appeal against
| its own refusal to grant a patent to Symbian for a programming technique.
| Yes, you read that correctly: the Patent Office was trying to get an appeal
| against its refusal to grant a patent struck down, because it didn't believe
| that the original patent application should be allowed. Through its own
| appeal, the UK Patent Office was trying to establish what could and could not
| be patented in the world of code.



Bad News on the UK Software Patent Front

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| Well, no more unfair than not allowing physicists to patent the laws they
| discover, or the theorems that mathematicians prove. The point is, software
| is not "closer to a mathematical method", it is a mathematical method, or
| rather a concatenation of them.
| All this juridical "on the one hand" and "on the other" in the interests
| of "balance" does not change this. The current decision is seriously bad
| news, because it opens the door to even more weaselly patent applications
| that contort themselves into the magic position to gain the favour of
| whichever Jesuit is on duty that day.


Court ruling strengthens patent protection for UK software

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| Technology companies will find it easier to safeguard their innovations in
| the UK after a court ruled that software should receive wider patent
| protection.
| The Court of Appeal said today that complex software such as programmes
| designed to make mobile phones and computers work faster can be patented in
| the UK.
| Previously, manufacturers could claim commercial exclusivity for their
| products under copyright laws but had less legal protection for underlying
| technical processes.
| As a result of the ruling, developers are likely to find it easier to secure
| approval from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which has
| traditionally been reluctant to grant patents to cover software.


Latest Decision on UK Software Patents Rejects UK-IPO Interpretation

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| Today’s Court of Appeal decision on the Symbian case has affirmed that the UK
| and European approaches to software patentability are fundamentally
| compatible. This upholds a High Court decision which had overturned the
| rejection by the UK-IPO of an application to patent “Mapping dynamic link
| libraries in a computing device”.


Court of Appeal delivers a software patent boost in the UK

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| Companies looking to obtain and enforce software patents in the UK received a
| boost today when the Court of Appeal ruled against the UK IP Office in its
| appeal against a decision of the High Court in the Symbian case. The High
| Court had overturned a UKIPO decision not to grant a patent to Symbian for an
| accelerator relating to iPods, mobile phones and computers.


Some learning to do?

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| Companies like Nokia need to learn the open source way of working. This means
| not only fulfilling the letter of GPL, LGPL etc. but also the spirit. In my
| mind this means integrating the corporate work with the open source
| community, participating, contributing back the code, building the code in
| open projects and not only releasing it when mandatory, not forking, etc.


Nokia does not get it

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| You better start playing by the rules because else the other companies might
| do it faster than Nokia and you will lose the opportunity. Oh: And just as a
| remind: when you go open source, you must play by the rules by honoring the
| license of the software.
| Really, it’s sad to listen to things like this from someone controlling the
| company who owns Trolltech *I am sure that the vice-president of companies
| like Red Hat wouldn’t say nonsense like the above. But it’s no surprise
| coming from someone in a company that seems to be absolutely in favor of
| software patents in Europe according to FFII.


Oh please, educate me, Nokia.

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| Nokia: “We want to educate open-source developers."
| Oh please, educate me, Nokia. Actually, never-mind. Kiss my ass instead. BTW,
| I call it free software, not "open source".
| Nokia: "There are certain business rules [developers] need to obey, such as
| DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business
| models.”
| You think I need obey? I prefer civil disobedience. DRM? Why would I obey
| your plan to steal my freedom? "Intellectual property"? What's that? There is
| Copyright law and Patent law but to my knowledge, there is no "intellectual
| property" law.
| It's a good idea to Boycott Nokia. They have an exceedingly imperious and
| arrogant attitude. Didn't they just buy Trolltech? Whichever pinhead from
| Nokia wrote this garbage just did a disservice to Trolltech. It makes
| Trolltech look like obedient "open source" developers who are in the process
| of being re-educated by Nokia.


Ari Jaaksi of Nokia Wants to Educate the Linux Community

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| But perhaps the community has some education for Jaaksi and Nokia. Jaaksi
| hosted me at a Nokia dinner in 2000, he's a nice guy and has been interested
| in Linux for a long time. But Nokia's barking up the wrong tree this time,
| because Nokia can do everything it wants with DRM, IPR, and SIM locks without
| bothering the Linux developers about it - and both Nokia and the Linux
| developers will like it better that way. It's surprising that Nokia doesn't
| understand that at this late date.

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