Thursday, April 27, 2006

France, Wrong Again, Wants to Reduce EU National Veto

It is rather remarkable that in the past several years, France has been on the wrong side of decisions in almost every important international and EU question. That is quite an embarrassing record of ineffectuality. And the beat goes on ....

As the photo caption to an April 26, 2006 EUobserver.com article declares, "Paris' EU blueprint reflects internal French politics" ... and we might add, nothing more.

Mark Beunderman writes in the article to the captioned photo that Paris now seeks reduction of the EU national veto. As Beunderman writes:

"The French government has tabled fresh proposals to break the EU's constitutional deadlock, pleading for an end to national vetoes in justice and police cooperation and workers' protection rules."

In other words, France, currently guided in its politics by a "shark" mentality, is not only NOT living up to its own responsibilities in the EU regarding the EU Constitution and other matters, but is in fact trying to take more and more power away from the other EU Member States.

What is quite clear from European politics of the last several years is that France has no interest in the well-being of the European Union but is only interested in its own welfare and in its own aggrandizement of power.

It is time for the rest of the EU Member States to begin to remove EU institutions from France and French-speaking countries and to begin to work more for the good of the EU rather than to be constantly involved with selfish French EU demands which interest only France.

The EU does not need France and would be better off without the French who are the greatest impediment to the forward progress of the EU and to the desperately needed reform of the EU's faulty "government by Commission" system, which is very "French" in nature but which is quite foreign to other nations.

It is the elected EU Parliament which should have the power of legislation, and not a Commission made up of insular civil servants who are not answerable to any constituents and whose actions manifest that fact.

If the EU does not remove the French lock on EU institutions and practices, there is no question that the EU will not survive the next 10 years, as the CIA has predicted it would not. Indeed, we ourselves have already gone from being strong EU proponents to becoming near eurosceptics because of the flawed French EU influence and because of our recognition that the current EU government "by EU Commission" is simply contrary to Western ideas of democracy and the way that people should governed.

We would definitely shift law-making power to the EU Parliament and reduce the EU Commission to being an arm of Parliament, serving the Parliament's legislative functions. The current situation of "government by Commission" is impossible over the long term.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

City of Strasbourg Ripping off the EU for 25 years

An April 25, 2006 EUobserver. com article by Teresa Kuchler and Andrew Rettman titled MEPs stumble onto Strasbourg con writes that:

"The French city of Strasbourg has been overcharging the European Parliament up to €2.7 million a year in rent for as long 25 years, MEPs were told for the first time on Tuesday (25 April)."

That's €67.5 million, another inexcusable EU pork barrel for France.

In addition, as written in that same article:

"The Strasbourg, Alsace location costs the EU €200 million a year in travel fees and causes logistics-related strife for VIPs and their assistants."

€200 million a year is € 1 billion in five years, all for no other reason than to unnecessarily put the money of other EU countries into the pockets of France.

There is no question that the European Parliament has no business being in Strasbourg and that it should be moved out at the earliest opportunity.

Indeed, EU institutions should be apportioned equally throughout the EU Member States, which means that most institutions now found in the French-speaking countries should be moved elsewhere. France has done nothing for the EU to deserve this preferred treatment and no service is being done to the EU by having EU institutions in France.

Quite the contrary. We refer here to our previous postings on France as the major problem of the EU today, see here, here and here.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

.eu Domain is Open for All within Europe

Starting April 7, 2006, the Sunrise periods were over and the .eu domain is now open for all within Europe in the so-called "Land Rush". See EURid. It looks as if they are very busy.

Friday, April 07, 2006

EU and UK Patent Law - Ideas and Mental Acts are Not Patentable

Three cheers for the London High Court, which, according to Out-Law.com, has denied a patent for document assembly.

As written by Out-Law News on April 5, 2006:

"UK patents, like European patents, are only supposed to be granted for inventions which are capable of industrial application, which are new and which involve an inventive step. Schemes for performing mental acts, carrying out business methods and computer programs "as such" are among the exclusions from the scope of patentability."

That paragraph should be sent to every judge and legislator in the United States so that they begin to appreciate what the difference is between a "real patent" and a "simple monopoly claim for an idea".

Accordingly, in the case under review, "a patent application for an automated method of acquiring the documents necessary to incorporate a company" was refused as not being patentable.

Mr Justice Mann explained the new procedure recently implemented in the UK for patent examination which ought to be to mandatory reading for the United States Patent and Trademark Office and its staff. As Out-Law.com news summarizes:

"Patents Office examiners now:
- "Identify what is the advance in the art that is said to be new and not obvious (and susceptible of industrial application)," and
- "Determine whether it is both new and not obvious (and susceptible of industrial application) under the description of an 'invention' in the sense of" the European Patent Convention, reflected in the UK by the Patents Act.
"

The critical test in the UK, according to Mr Justice Mann is found in this reasoning:

"The point of the invention is to arrive at the appropriate company with the appropriate incorporation documents on the basis of information supplied by the user. This act of applying the criteria to arrive at the correctly documented conclusion seems to me to be clearly a mental act. Without a computer a skilled individual would do the same thing in much the same way."

That last sentence should be the benchmark for initially determining whether something is patentable.

If a skilled individual would do the same thing in much the same way - and this is clear in such cases as Amazon's one-click buying, MercExhange and eBay (instant buying), Eolas and Microsoft (instant application embedding) and NTP and RIM (instant e-mail messaging) - cases where it is clear that patents have not been stolen but rather where "other" skilled individuals have done a particular thing in much the same way as the patent claimant claimed in his patent application, then it is clear that the patent application tries to patent "a mental act" or "an idea", which is not an "invention" and is therefore not patentable.

Neither an idea nor simply writing down that idea on a piece of paper or submitting that idea in a writing to the patent office should ever be regarded as an "invention".

An invention, in our view, is a SPECIFIC incorporation of an idea into a SPECIFIC demonstrable product, and it is that product which should be patentable, and that product only. Any individual with the same idea but incorporating that idea into a different demonstrable product is NOT infringing the patent of someone incorporating that same idea into another demonstrable product. For example, a particular kind of mouse trap can be patented, but not the mouse trap idea per se. Indeed, a mouse trap which works by enclosing the mouse should only be patentable for one specific way to do this and not for all means by which a mouse can be "caught" in an enclosure. Even the broad general idea of a "door closing" on the mouse should not be patentable since that is obvious. Something has to be "invented" which is not obvious.

Put a different way, patents should not keep others from developing new inventions to achieve a particular objective. If the patent does that kind of limitation, then the patent granted is too broad, and should be revoked. A good example here is the EOLAS case where only the specific implementation of the idea, demonstrable in a product (EOLAS has no such demonstrable product), of embedding an application instantly into browser could be patentable. What the USPTO has done is to grant a patent which prohibits anyone else from instant embedding of applications into browsers, and that is government absurdity and stupidity at the highest level.

Somehow, American jurisprudence does not seem to "get it" on this very important point and we do wonder what the reason for that is. Perhaps it is the "get quick rich" US mentality? Just getting rich by having a good idea? Should that be enough? We think not. Society prospers primarily through the implementation of good ideas and not by the good ideas per se. Hence, it is also the actual implementers who should be primarily rewarded through the patent system and definitely NOT the patent trolls. Good ideas are and should be a "dime" a dozen, also in the eyes of patent examiners.

In the instant case, the patent applicant should of course be able to retain his copyright in his particular software, so that no one can steal that particular work. Nevertheless, the idea that companies can be incorporated online (by whatever method of juggling documents) has nothing to do with being an "invention" and of course there will be many websites down the road who offer this service in many different ways, and that is as it should be.

The best implementation of the idea will win in the end, and this will not necessarily be the person trying to patent a monopoly on that idea now. Ideas are not inventions.

Monday, April 03, 2006

France Continues to Create Problems for Everyone

France seems to be in the snowballing process of continuing to create problems for itself, for the EU and for NATO.

Mark Beunderman at the EU Observer writes on April 3, 2006 that:

"Luxembourg's prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker has attacked the European Commission over its stance that France is being protectionist about it energy sector, amid fresh reports that Brussels will this week take legal action against Paris in other sectors....

"It is very uncontroversial in the commission and there is a general agreement that the French have broken EU rules," said an EU official according to the International Herald Tribune."

Lucia Kubosova at the EU Observer writes on April 3, 2006 that:

"NATO is considering creating closer military links with countries like Sweden, Finland, Australia, New Zealand or even Japan and South Korea, in an initiative pushed by the US but opposed by France....
France is uneasy about the idea as it fears it would further strengthen the US position in the alliance."

Indymedia.org writes about recent events in France as follows:

"Since the start of March, protests, occupations and direct action against the new CPE employment law in France have been increasing, with university and school students leading the dissent. Railways have been blockaded, airports disrupted, and up to two thirds of France's universities have been occupied or disrupted, as well as many schools. Clashes with police have occured throughout the country."

Nothing, and absolutley nothing, in the France of today serves as a model for the EU or any other country or union in any way.

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