30 April 2012

Triple 'P' this Month on the ksnh::law IP blog: EU Patent, Pirates, Paperless Office

This month (April 2012) our ksnh::law blog has reported on  basically three very different topics that, at the first glance, do not appear to have much in common:

while upon a closer look some links become evident between the Unitary Patent and the IP sceptical and computer affine Piratenpartei that fears so called 'software patents' like the devil avoids holy water.  
As to the EU Patent,  The German industry association Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V. (BDI) has held a conference titled Tag des geistigen Eigentums – Geistiges Eigentum verpflichtet (Intellectual Property Day - Property entails obligations) on which executive and professional representatives expressed their expectations that a conciliation on this matter can and will be reached until next meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council, while the FFII and representatives of the German Piratenpartei expressed their concerns that the Unitary Patent might turn out to facilitate legal acceptance of so called 'software patents'.

Meanwhile, Baroness Wilcox stressed the UK Government's opposition against bifurcation and  its strong demand to see the central division of the Unified Patent Court be seated in London. 

Clearly, no significant moves will be made prior the second round of the French presidential elections on May 06, 2012. Angela Merkel still supports Mr Sarkozy, while the relationship between Ms Merkel and Mr Hollande is continuing to deteriorate rapidly in particular as Mr Hollande appears to insist on re-negotiating the EU fiscal treaty. Should Mr Sarkozy get re-elected, he might see himself being politically deeply in Ms Merkel’s debt, a situation which might enhance Germany’s chances to get the seat of the Central Division provided that all other issues can be sorted out. 

But what happens if Mr Hollande turns out to become the next President of France? It is known that in general Mr Hollande is more open to positions of critics of the current system of Intellectual Property than Sarkozy ever was. But clearly, arguing in an election campaign is one thing, and ruling a State under the limitations imposed by reason of state is quite another.

(Photo 2011 by KitAy via Flickr under a CC license)

IP Sceptical Pirate Party on the Rise in Germany

 The German Pirate Party (“Piratenpartei”) is well known amongst IP professionals for their sceptic stance on the current state of copyright and patent law. On the ksnh::law blog we recently issued two postings titled "Pirate Party Winning Seats In Parliament Of Saarland, Germany" and "Political Turmoil in Germany: Piratenpartei" sketching the recent political developments of the political arm of the pirate movement in Germany, including two electoral victories in the German states of Berlin and Saarland:

On September 18, 2011, the Piratenpartei won 9% of the votes in the Berlin state elections and got their first parliamentary group in a local state Parliament in Germany; (see here);
On March 25, 2012, the Piraten partei won 7.4% of the votes in the Saarland state elections, well above the 5% quorum, giving them seats in the new legislative period (see press coverage), way ahead of the Liberal Democrats that reached only 1.25% of the votes.

But there may be more victories to come:

In the German State of Schleswig-Holstein, state electtions are due to be held on May 06, 2012. Recent polls show up to 9% and even 11% to be expected for the Piratenpartei (date 30 April 2012). The quorum for gaining seats will be 5%.
In the German State of North-Rhine-Westphalia, having the largest population among Germany states and being an important industrialc center of the country, state elections are to be held on May 13, 2012. Recent polls also show results around 8% to be expected for the Piratenpartei (adate 30 April 2012). The quorum for gaining seats will be 5%.
In September 2013, General Elections for the lower chamber of German Parliament (Bundestag) fall due. Recent polls show results between 9% and 11% to be expected for the Piratenpartei (date 30 April 2012). The quorum for gaining seats will be 5%.

Before this background the nervousness amongst other political parties, economists and the legal professions is rising: "Political Turmoil in Germany: Piratenpartei".