[A2k] US and German competition authorities obtain compulsory licenses on patents to "protect competition and innovation in the open source software community."

Karsten Gerloff gerloff at fsfeurope.org
Wed Aug 10 03:44:24 PDT 2011


Hi Jamie,

On Thu, Aug 04, 2011 at 02:34:54PM -0400, Jamie Love wrote:
> I had missed this earlier, but noticed it on a blog that Manon posted to
> Google Plus.  I think it is relevant to those who peruse compulsory licenses
> for medical, software or climate change technologies.  In April of this
> year, US and German antitrust officials obtained extensive compulsory
> licenses on patents in order to "protect competition and innovation in the
> open source software community."  This is the US DOJ press release.
> 

thanks for highlighting this once more!

At FSFE we were very actively involved in making this happen. Here
are our statements to the German Federal Competition Office
(Bundeskartellamt): 

	http://fsfe.org/projects/swpat/letter-20101222.en.html
	http://fsfe.org/projects/swpat/letter-20110406.en.html

Still, I should note that:

 - the DOJ investigation into the sale of Novell's patents is
   still ongoing

 - we have yet to see action on the authorities' part beyond the
   press release you quoted.

So rather than an actual compulsory license, it's the
*perspective* of a compulsory license, or something different --
we don't yet know how the DOJ will implement this.


There's another interesting aspect to this: The German
Bundeskartellamt (competition authority) also did a press release 

	http://www.bundeskartellamt.de/wDeutsch/aktuelles/presse/2011_04_20.php

Besides echoing the DOJ's release, the Germans also note that
patent-based strategies of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) can
be anticompetitive. 

To my knowledge, this is the first time that a competition
authority acknowledges FUD as a threat to competition in the
market. It's a good reference.



Best regards,
Karsten
-- 
Karsten Gerloff                      [ ]   <gerloff at fsfeurope.org>
Free Software Foundation Europe   [ ][ ][ ]      [http://fsfe.org]
President                            | |         +49 176 9690 4298
Your donation powers our work!           [http://fsfe.org/donate/]

Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. is a German Verein registered
at the Registergericht Hamburg (VR 17030). 






More information about the A2k mailing list