TomTom attacked with silly Microsoft patents

Yes, Its the empire march. Microsoft is suing TomTom for patent infringement in U.S. Patents:
6,175,789; 7,054,745; 6,704,032; 7,117,286; 6,202,008; vfat: 5,579,517 ; 5,758,352; and 6,256,642 .

is a European company using a gnu/linux platform. Even though TomTom is pretty large, its a pressing moment with the financial crisis for everyone. Lets hope that they can stand the pressure from Redmond.

TomTom's CEO saying that they spend more money on patent litigation than on R&D:

Groklaw has the complaint at http://www.groklaw.net/pdf/tomtomComplaint.pdf and a good recommendation: "Think Bilski"!

Update: Case settled out of court. Its incredible how naive most of these patents are, just watch the claims in the comments. Still they survive at the expense of development and competition. More at groklaw


Action: EPO court needs your statements on software patents

The January Official Journal of the EPO contains the announcement of the EPO President's referral on software patents and notes that:

"It is expected that third parties will wish to use the opportunity to file written statements in accordance with Article 10 of the Rules of Procedure of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (OJ EPO 2007, 303 ff). To ensure that any such statements can be given due consideration they should be filed together with any new cited documents by the end of April 2009 at the Registry of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, quoting case number G 3/08. An additional filing of the statement and documents in electronic form would be appreciated"

Dg3registry_eba @ epo.org

You should snail mail the your statement too as that e-mail address is complementary as said.

Email seems to be the "additional" way send statements, as commented by annonymous on IPKat:
" It follows from these requirements that a document only sent by e-mail does not, at present, appear to fulfill the conditions of "filing a written statement" in the meaning of the EPC."

My previous answer needs some refinements before i post it... though. Comments appreciated!

UPDATE 20090305: EPO Questions OCR:ed and commented at FFII

UPDATE2: EPO seems to have updated its software patents page and replaced moderate texts with pro patent politics. The EPO patent extremists are running wild on:
Compare this with the previous information, still available at:
"According to some, granting patents for computer-implemented inventions stimulates innovation because the financial and material investment that is needed to develop sophisticated and specialized software is protected. Others, however, believe that such patents stifle competition and act as a brake on innovation."

Happy new year!

ArsTechnica reports the good news that another patent has been invalidated with the Bilski case in mind. BPAI (the court) noted that the claims do not "recite any machine or apparatus or call for transforming an article into a different state or thing. A domain name is simply a series of characters representing the address of a resource, such as a server, on the World Wide Web. All of the steps are data manipulation steps."

I like the way that sounds. Its an acknowledgement that data processing should not be pantentable on its own.

ArsTechnica also published a great review over the history and future of software patents in the US in
"a return to the Supreme Court's software patent ban?"