[ffii] ACTA may hamper fight against climate change
ante at ffii.org
Fri Jun 4 10:31:24 CEST 2010
[ ACTA / Economy / Innovation ]
ACTA may hamper fight against climate change
Brussels, June 4th 2010 -- The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) may
hamper the fight against climate change by inhibiting the diffusion of green
technology, according to the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure
Behind closed doors, the European Union, United States, Japan and other trade
partners are negotiating an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. ACTA will
contain new international norms for the enforcement of copyrights, trade mark
rights, patents and other exclusive rights.
Following the release of a draft ACTA text, the FFII updated its analysis of
the effects ACTA may have on the software field. The software sector is plagued
by patent thickets. Non-practicing entities ("trolls") file frivolous lawsuits
and demand high damages. In the U.S., even major software companies, owning
huge patent portfolios, support patent reform. Depending on the outcome of the
final text, ACTA may impose injunctions for all patent infringements and
increase damages. This will render reform impossible. The FFII analysis shows
ACTA may help holders of large patent portfolios to eliminate competition from
start-ups, smaller sized companies and open source projects.
FFII analyst Ante Wessels: "The ACTA-problems are not limited to software. To
win the fight against climate change, fast diffusion of green technology is
needed. Policy makers know that, patent trolls know that. We will see the same
problems that plague the software field, like trivial patents, amassing of
patents, frivolous lawsuits, hampering of follow up innovation and high
transaction costs. Especially since many modern products, like hybrid cars,
In a podcast, Nikolaus Thumm, Chief Economist of the European Patent Office,
said that the key facilitator of technology transfer is licensing. He mentions
people giving away essential parts of their technologies.
Ante Wessels: "Making the fight against climate change dependant on charity
from patent holders hardly seems advisable. Means to force patent owners to
cooperate are needed too. ACTA may impose injunctions for all infringements,
there will then be no way to force patent holders to cooperate. Even if this
problem is solved, the high damages ACTA proposes will drive up the costs for
diffusion of green technology. While the funds are already limited, for
instance, the fight against AIDS seems lost, due to lack of money. The same may
happen with diffusion of green technology."
According to the FFII, there is no indication that the 1994 WTO TRIPS
agreement provides inadequate protection for patent holders.
The next round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations is
scheduled for later this month in Switzerland.
European Patent Office Forum 2010 on Climate Change
European Patent Office podcast:
Permanent link to this press release:
Phone: +31 6 100 99 063
ante (at) ffii.org
FFII Office Berlin
Malmöer Str. 6
Fax Service: +49-721-509663769
Email: office (at) ffii.org
The FFII is a not-for-profit association registered in twenty European
countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public
benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000
members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 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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