[Udpcast] FFII: noepatents.eu.org and the economic-majority

Michael [economic-majority helpdesk] llynx at gmx.ch
Sat Jun 4 17:45:32 CEST 2005


I imagine that working in the multimedia area you may very well have to face patent troubles already.
I'm related to the FFII who organizes the webdemo (noepatents.eu.org). Apparently someone subscribed you to the participant list (i hope it was you yourself, or it is still ok), and this way i found to your website. 

I'm joining another FFII [1] campaign against software patents, and my question to you is, would you give our campaign your statement (no, it's not about money :) against software-patents in Europe ?

This is about the new EU proposal for a law on patenting computer-aided inventions, which was turned into something different that will legalise all software granted already and in the future. 
In June 20 there will be a pre-vote of the European Parliament in Brussels [2]. 

At the moment the discussion focuses on the question if software-patents are rather good or bad for  European IT companies. The small-and-medium-sized ones (SME) are at the centre of that discussion, because it is acknowledged that they represent the 'economic majority' in respect to tax,  employment, and innovation.

Some weeks ago, the hardly lobbying international (partly non-european) patent-attorneys and -brokers (who claim to also represent the big multinational corporates) carried so called 'SME' CEOs into the European Parliament, who demanded in the name of all SME for software-patents.
In fact it was a colourful pack of companies which partly aren't busy in the software sector in first instance, or wanted their hardware patents protected (which is plainly off-topic to the issue), and there were even Ex-CEOs of Microsoftm [3].

The FFII, representing 400,000 voices against software-patents (including 3000 CEOs) is determined to fight this counterfeit with a special campaign action now. 

We ask companies for a short statement, which we will publish (together with a short description of the company, a photo and the company logo) on a special website. This is running for only a few weeks now, but there are already more than 550 participants with ini summary more than 15.000 emplyees and annual turnover of 1.500.000.000 EUR. Note this figure includes only approx. 2/3 of them, since specifying employees or turnover it is not mandatory, of course. I invite you to have a look yourself [4].

While the Parliament already is rather suspicious against software-patents, this action could be a very vital strike against the concentrated lobby efforts of 'the other side'. It would be especially helpful to convince the Commission, and the Council, to change their adamantine position when the 'ball is back in their court' after the parliament has decided. 
All of these urgently need clear facts, and the statements of those who will be hit, now to take the right decision.

The goal is a software-patent-free Europe which could gain, through the power of their innovative SME, an advantageous position in the international competition.

A German participant expressed it this way (my translation):

"The situation with software-patent (which is all over accused even in the US) does not at all urge Europa to adapt our patent law to the US. It would be obvious, instead, in be freely innovative in Europe while the US-Americans are sitting in the courts waiting rooms. Who want, or has to, patent, can do it in the USA anyway.
Would the EU only invest even a small percentage of the money wasted with long software-patent wars into supporting European patent applications in the US, then that would be a much bigger contribution to the competitiveness of the European, than the recent draft law."

On the opposite we see a future with european SMEs wasted away, with no chance against annual  application rates of 1000 - 3000 softwarepatents by the big players.
Feel free to find out yourself if your core business is already patented by someone else [5,6].

If you will be able to take a stand, and decide to join this campaign, we will assign you a personal email-support helper. What would be necessary is not much: A short statement that you would send by mail.

A company logo (banner), and a short description of your business can be done by the helper, if you have it already on your website. The helper will then send you a link to the draft webpage, which will not be public by now. You can have a look, tell your improvements, and only if you give 'green light' the page will be published.    

A financial contribution is not necessary, but of course it would be welcomed. 
I suggest you to feel completely free in this respect. At the moment, your statement is much more important than money.

PLease reply to the helper list <economic-majority at ffii.org>.

With kind regards --


___________________ links: ___________________________-

[1] http://www.ffii.org

[2] http://swpat.ffii.org/log/intro/index.en.html

[3] http://swpat.ffii.org/log/05/eictasme04

[4] Supporters:
    Main page with registration:
    Published Online:
[5] http://webshop.ffii.org
[6] http://swpat.ffii.org/patents/txt/ep/last/last100.en.html

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