[Fsfe-ie] Png videoshop

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Fri Dec 5 19:39:07 CET 2003

Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> John Evans <jevans at eircom.net> writes:
>>I would welcome a consensus view on changes that might be made to the
>>videoshop document (or perhaps someone would like to produce their own
>>version). Particular issues are
>>(i) accuracy (eg. LZW)
> The LZW patent is still valid in the EU, it only expired in the US:
> "the LZW patent expired in the United States. The Canadian, Japanese,
> British, German, French and Italian LZW patents expire mid-2004."
>  -http://news.com.com/2100-1025_3-5106125.html
>>(ii) wrong impression (eg the India comment)
> I'm pretty sure the india comment is incorrect, but I can't think of how
> it would be enforced.  In the EU, patents cover use of the idea, so the
> user of the website would be infringing the patent.  I suppose.
> ...actually, I've just had a great idea.  How about a page that includes
> some patented ideas, with a big heading "Warning, You have just
> infringed patent EPnnnnnnn, this is an offense(crime?), below you can
> see what sentence you face:" and list the charges of patent infringement
> in a few countries.  (I'll check the legalities of this.)
> The proposed EU directive explicitly excluded business method patents
> and the pro-patent side cited 1-click as the sort of patent they would
> reject.
> So if we say "look at this 1-click, it's crazy", they'll respond that it
> is indeed crazy, and that it's exactly what they are trying to prevent
> with the business method exclusion.

Amazon gift ordering was granted by the EPO this year.

The proposed directive -- including article 4a -- is an almost exact 
abbrevaition and transposition of the EPO's current guidelines.

Amazon gift ordering *would* be allowed under the CEC/JURI version of 
the directive.

> Most of the pro-patent efforts are aimed at making us look like
> protesters that don't know what we are talking about, so we need to be
> careful to demonstrate that we do understand it.
> Of course, in practice, I don't see how anyone could distinguish between
> business and technical patents, but the MEPs won't understand this.
> Maybe the page should highlight which of these patents are for business
> methods, and include a note explaining that both sides agree that these
> are bad, but patent examiners are paid for the patents they accept, and
> the value of patents encourages each country to hand out as many patents
> as possible, so some business methods will be disguised as technical
> patents, and some coutries will not be strict enough about the rejection
> of business methods.
> Great page anyway.

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