European Enterprise Institute serving as a patent lobby frontend
A few days before the decisive vote in the European Parliament (EP) on the software patents directive, the European Enterprise Institute (EEI) is suddenly serving the patent lobby as a frontend. At previous conferences of SME Union and FFII, EEI chairman Peter Jungen displayed great communication skills and showed himself very critical of patent lobby propaganda. However, the EEI now has published a crude propaganda leaflet from a well-known corporate patent activist as an "EEI opinion" on their website, alongside with an invitation to a patent evangelism lunch meeting on June 27th.
2005-06-11 EEI opinion paper "Why Europe Needs 'Software Patents'" (written by Fredrik Egrelius, a patent lawyer who was hired by Scania with the task of promoting software patenting within the company, highlighted on EEI's homepage, marked as "This publication is an EEI Opinion", with a disclaimer "This publication does not necessarily represent the belief of the EEI and all data, references and opinions should be attributed to accredited authors. The EEI does not take an institutional position on individual issues."). A rebuttal by an automotive technology SME can be found here.
EEI future events: contains a description of the planned patent lunch titled "The Bigger Picture".
The speakers at the lunch are
Jonathan Zuck of ACT (a Microsoft proxy)
Keith Beresford (author of a manual for patent lawyers on how to circumvent the European Patent Convention, also closely involved at the political level, e.g. in advisory circles of the UK Patent Office, which has been a driving force behind the proposed directive)
Kai Brandt (patent lawyer and patent activist of Siemens who has spent much of the last 2 years spreading misinformation about the the legislative proposals in question, claiming e.g. that the Council's version prevents software patents whereas the EP version prevents patents on anything that use software)
- Prof. András Vedres, president of Hungarian inventors' association ("inventors" = patent applicants)
None of the speakers is likely to present anything but pro-patent belief statements similar to those found in the EEI opinion paper.
Gunnar Hökmark (new MEP from EPP Sweden, co-chair of EEI) is scheduled to draw "political conclusions" from these statements in a final speech.
The "Bigger Picture" (title of the lunch session) is likely to be the one which Kai Brandt usually paints: desktop computers account for only 2% of the overall computers in the world, all the others are micro-controllers used in devices, and much of the innovation is nowadays taking place in the programming of these micro-controllers, and this work must be patentable.