[A2k] EU wants punitive measures against patent infringements in ACTA

Ante ante at ffii.org
Mon Sep 6 05:59:37 PDT 2010


EU wants punitive measures against patent infringements in ACTA

Knowledge Ecology International has posted the latest leaked version of the 
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) text, the Washington DC August 2010 
text. The following statement can be attributed to the Foundation for a Free 
Information Infrastructure (FFII):

"We are disappointed the EU still wants punitive measures against patent 
infringements in ACTA. The FFII analysis shows punitive measures do not work 
in fields where infringement is often unavoidable.

The software field is plagued by patents. Holders of huge patent portfolios may 
decide to eliminate competition from startups, small and medium sized 
enterprises and open source projects, on their own, or by using a proxy, a 
patent troll. Patent trolls acquire excessive power. This is bad for the 
European small and medium sized enterprises, which provide for most of 
Europe's employment.

The inclusion of patents in ACTA causes many issues with regards to access to 
medicine. Not protected by the Doha Declaration, diffusion of green technology 
may face worse problems than access to medicine. Furthermore, medicines are 
often protected by a limited amount of patents. Complex products on the other 
hand may be covered by many patents. For instance, software systems may be 
covered by hundreds of patents. There are green software and business patents, 
e.g. on regulating traffic toll fees based on traffic volume/pollution. And many 
modern products, like hybrid cars, contain software. The problems the software 
sector is experiencing provide an indication of the issues the diffusion of 
green technology may run into with ACTA.

Unconsidered in ACTA is the situation presented in matters of public health 
surveillance, crisis management, civil and environmental response and related 
situations where cross-jurisdiction information exchange and the data 
associated therewith could constitute "infringing" activities. Under ACTA, 
both information and technology associated with data collection, aggregation, 
assembly and transmission and analysis could be impaired greatly enhancing the 
complexity of responding to events like SARS, the Avian Influenza and crisis 
response to natural and manmade disasters.

ACTA also evidences a clear lack of awareness on the manner in which green 
technology in the energy and infrastructure sectors operate. The majority of 
systems (for example, wind turbines, water turbines, and solar collectors) 
rely on cross-border up-time-management software and systems. ACTA explicitly 
and adversely impacts the ability to transmit grid and local data, operate 
feedback mechanisms to energy suppliers, and operate security protocols across 
international rail, air, and shipping infrastructure applications. Once again, 
in an effort to be responsive to the media industry, a far larger component of 
the global IT infrastructure is being overlooked. This, in the short term, 
will create unintended liabilities and, in the long term, like we’ve seen in 
the flow of energy from Russia into Europe, may be the source of highly 
politicized controversy and impairment.

== Links

Leaked text: http://keionline.org/acta_washdc

FFII analysis: http://action.ffii.org/acta/Analysis

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