Tuesday, March 17, 2009

European patent reform, or a political turf battle?

Not as cool as killing mosquitoes with lasers, but HS Daily Wire did carry this significant story:

The European Commission has just reiterated its demand for the creation of a single European patent. It said the absence of such a protection is hindering the growth of technology companies in the European Union....

"The framework conditions for regulation, standardization and intellectual property right (IPR) regimes need to be adapted to new realities," said its proposal to the European Parliament and Council. "Standardization structures and processes must become more agile and reactive, and with a clearer distinction between missions requiring public intervention and those more related to market dynamics." It added: "The IPR system also needs to be improved by the creation of a Community patent for innovative ICT companies to protect their inventions in the single market."

However, HS Daily Wire links to a Register post that clarifies that Europe-wide patents do exist. They're just not controlled by the EU itself:

Patents covering much of Europe do exist, but they are operated by the European Patent Office (EPO), which is not a part of EU government. If the EPO gives a patent application its approval then it is granted only in the countries specified in the patent application, not automatically in all the countries signed up to its governing principles, the European Patent Convention.

For its part, the European Patent Office says the following about itself:

The European Patent Office (EPO) provides a uniform application procedure for individual inventors and companies seeking patent protection in up to 38 European countries. It is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation and is supervised by the Administrative Council.

Its origins are traced to the European Patent Convention (EPC) signed in Munich, Germany in 1973, placing it outside of the scope of European Union governance.

Remember what I said on Monday?

There are people that truly believe that Big Brother really looms among us, and that multiple government agencies (or other entities) are secretly conspiring against us for evil purposes. Frankly, I don't believe it, because I've been around government people. The whole conspiracy idea depends upon the notion that people from agency A will conspire with people from agency B. That isn't going to happen, because they hate each other.

So this whole push for "European patent reform" may be nothing more than a power play of one super-governmental agency against another super-governmental agency.
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