[ffii] SAP cites Ericsson's favorite doctrines to argue for business method patents

Hartmut Pilch phm at ffii.org
Wed Feb 9 16:02:14 CET 2005

PRESS RELEASE FFII -- [ Europe / economy / ICT ]

SAP citing Ericsson's favorite doctrines to argue for business method patents

9th February 2005 -- In a patent application of November 2004, SAP
cites those very doctrines to argue in favor of business method
patentability, which, according to a letter sent to members of the
European Parliament by Ericsson, "guarantee" that the EU Council's text
"firmly rejects" business method patents.

Hartmut Pilch, president of the FFII, explains:

  SAP has been obtaining an increasing number of business method
  patents every year at the European Patent Office since 1998, when
  SAP started their patenting operations.  SAP's patent department has
  been among the most active in lobbying for the Council text, which
  SAP says it needs in order to be able to ensure that these patents
  are enforcable in Europe and that SAP's business method innovations
  can be patented globally on a uniform basis.

  In spite of all this evidence, we will continue to see a
  never-ending series of press statements from the EU which say that
  the Council's intention is to exclude business methods and pure
  software from patentability.  Fortunately fewer and fewer people
  are being fooled, as we can see from the spectacular failure of
  Ericsson's latest lobbying efforts in the European Parliament.  

  However Ericsson and SAP have been eminently successful with the 
  Commission and Council.  The Council's agreement of 18th May 2004 is
  an agreement not for a common position but for a common wording
  to be used for lying to the Parliament and the media.  

  Although this wording does not enjoy a qualified majority and is
  badly failing in its communication purposes, the Council and
  Commission are still pushing for adoption without vote on February
  17th, so as to preempt the European Parliament's request for restart
  of the procedure.  This could be funny, if it didn't set a dangerous
  new precedent of disrespect for parliamentary democracy in the EU.
FFII is currently planning a demonstration and a press conference in
Brussels on the 17th.

Extra information

- Ericsson letter, SAP's argumentation, more backgrounds

- SAP's patents at the EPO

- Ericsson's patents at the EPO

- Demo and Press conference on the 17th in Brussels

- Why Amazon One-Click Shopping is Patentable under the Council Text

Hartmut Pilch, Munich Office
phm at ffii org
tel. +49-89-18979927

Erik Josefsson, Brussels Office
erjos at ffii org
tel. +32-27396262

Jonas Maebe, board member
jmaebe at elis.ugent.be
tel. +32 (0)485 36 96 45

Dieter Van Uytvanck, FFII Belgium
dieter at vrijschrift.org
tel. +31 (0)6 275 879 10

About FFII -- http://www.ffii.org

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a
non-profit association registered in several European countries, which
is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports
the development of public information goods based on copyright, free
competition, open standards. More than 500 members, 1,200 companies
and 80,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in
public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual
property) in data processing.

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