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Glyn Moody

Glyn Moody's look at all levels of the enterprise open source stack. The blog will look at the organisations that are embracing open source, old and new alike (start-ups welcome), and the communities of users and developers that have formed around them (or not, as the case may be).

Still Time to Avert the EU Unitary Patent Disaster

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Today, the European Parliament votes on the Unitary Patent. As I explained yesterday, what is being presented is something of a botch, lashed up at the last moment in a desperate attempt to push this through after years of discussion. This is not the right way to pass good laws, and certainly not acceptable for something that will have a dramatic effect on business in Europe.

Interestingly, late yesterday it emerged that even big European companies want the Unitary Patent rejected in its current form, which is pretty damning, since they are supposed to be among those pushing for the idea.

Another chilling development yesterday was the following news:

Patent trolls are for the first time behind the majority of patent infringement lawsuits filed in the United States, according to a study conducted by a patent law professor in California.

About 62 percent of all patent lawsuits filed this year up to December 1 were brought by patent assertion entities (PAEs), which are created to extract licensing fees from other companies rather than make products based on the patents, according to Colleen Chien, a law professor at Santa Clara University.

The Unitary Patent will make life much easier for patent trolls, so it is not unlikely that this is the fate that awaits Europe if it is passed in its current form.

You still have a couple of hours to contact your MEPs if you have not already done so (or to contact them again if you have). That will only take a few minutes, but getting rid of ill-thought-out legislation could take years, while businesses suffers the consequences in the meantime.

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