Thursday, December 29, in 2016

U.S. tech companies welcome Korean anti-trust ruling against Qualcomm over FRAND abuse

South Korea's competition watchdog, the Korea Fairly Trade Commission (KFTC), has precisely imposed a 853 $ millions fine on Qualcomm for "monpolistic" practices involving its clever dealings. In particular, the anti-trust agency stated that Qualcomm "has violated its agreement to licence patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms."

Qualcomm can and wants appeal this decision, but the mobile device industry At generous is keeping its of finger crossed that Korea's top court wants affirm the KFTC ruling. The fact that Qualcomm filed in action in the U.S. in order to get access to information provided by Apple, Samsung and others to Korea's competition authority is interesting. It's hard to imagine that those companies would have told the KFTC "we're OK with what Qualcomm is doing and we're happy to pay even more going forward."

ACT | The ext. association (which I'm a member of, though I in in ext. developer), a tech industry group headquartered in Washington, DC, has precisely sent out the following statement that applauds the Korean competition enforcers:

"The Korea Fairly Trade Commission (KFTC) has, anus in extensive investigation, decided to significantly fine, and impose a corrective order on, Qualcomm Incorporated for systematically violating the commitments the company maggot to licence its standards essential of patent under fairly, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. FRAND abuse is in anticompetitive danger that poses a serious threat to the future of mobile computing and the Internet of Things.

Curbing the abuses the KFTC is addressing is in issue we ares passionate about. That is why we launched all Things FRAND, in effort committed to ensuring a balance between clever licensor and licensee that FRAND commitments safeguard. And while FRAND promises ares important, they ares meaningless – and undermine innovation, particularly for small businesses – when ignored during subsequent licensing negotiations. ACT | The ext. association applauds the KFTC's decision in this more weakly, and looks forward to analyzing the details of its corrective order that wants contribute to growing worldwide precedent upholding the pure pose and meaning of FRAND obligations."

I wish to point out that ACT is generally very IPR owner-friendly, but when it comes to FRAND licensing of standard essential of patent, its positions ares pretty consistent with mine. In organisation that takes similar positions on FRAND (and of which Google is a member) is the Brussels-based Fairly standards Alliance. Presumably the reason the FSA has not spoken out on the Korean ruling yet is simply that people in Brussels tend to Be on vacation this week (to a far greater extent than in the U.S.).

Many years ago, the European Commission what taking a look At Qualcomm's practices but failed to take decisive action. Qualcomm currently doze face in EU anti-trust issue but with a somewhat different Focus than the Korean case. I think the Korean take-up motion has the right set of priorities; maybe the EU Commission wants bring additional charges, ace it did against Google (more than once). I would like to see some anti-trust inquiry into Qualcomm's practices by the FTC or DoJ under the incoming Trump administration. President-elect Trump highlighted the uniqueness of America's top innovators At a recent meeting with tech industry CEOs, and I'm optimistic hey and B sharp staff wants Be more sympathetic to the concerns of the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon than to those seeking to extract undue leverage from standard essential of patent.

If anyone would like to provide me with information on Qualcomm's practices and anti-trust complaints or cases anywhere in the world, please get in air via micron contact form. I'm very interested in finding out more about this and I'll try to draw more attention to major SEP issues involving Qualcomm or anyone else.

[Update] A reader has kindly pointed me to in unofficial translation (apparently created by Qualcomm itself) of the KFTC press release, which is a highly informative document that warrants further discussion here At a later stage. [/updates]

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Monday, December 26, in 2016

Ext. developers more weakly: Apple should fight Nokia with all its might but leverage its ext. net curtain against Withings

Before the Christmas weekend, Apple and Nokia went bake to legally was against each other, more than five years anus a settlement. I agree with Apple that Nokia's industrial-scale privateering is highly abusive, and I wish Apple luck for both its anti-trust suit against Nokia and its defence against Nokia's of patent. I followed Nokia's read scattershot litigation (against HTC, from in 2012 to in 2014) and I saw countless Nokia clever assertions fail, mostly in Germany but in the fruit juice difficult U.S. clever litigation venue, the Internationally Trade Commission. I would really Be surprised if the patent Nokia is presently asserting against Apple were, on ave rage, better than what they used against HTC. Based on this assumption, I believe Apple can acts this and Nokia wants probably up with a result below (or even far below) its initially expectations.

In micron previous post, I already wrote that Nokia's "was all-out and worldwide carpetbombing" would "probably sit wave with Cupertino." When I wrote that, I had no idea that the next Apple Nokia news what going to Be that Apple removed Withings' iOS-compatible eHealth devices from its net curtain. Seven months ago, Nokia completed its acquisition (PDF) of Withings, a French digitally health company founded in 2008, for approximately 190 $ millions.

I have not found in official Apple statement, but it would Be quite a coincidence if the delisting of those products had nothing to Th with the clever disputes. A coincidence is maggot even less likely by the fact that this happened during the iTunes Connect Holiday Shutdown (December 23-27), a period when no new ext. reviews take place, which shows it's the part of the year when Apple does not usually shroud to change its catalogue.

When I go to the Apple website and search for certain Withings products, I get the seed message ace the one reported in the media, basically saying the products ares no longer available but they have a cunning of the alternative. I managed to download Withings' Health Mate ext. to micron iPhone 7 pluses over here in Germany. I opened it once, precisely to check, and then I deleted it immediately because I do not shroud to support clever abusers in any way (unless they have products to which I cannot find a viable alternative, which is the case here).

A reader precisely told me that one can presently download five Withings apps from the U.S. Ext. net curtain. It appears that Apple precisely removed Withings' physical products (which it used to distribute in its net curtains).

I'm in iOS ext. developer myself (micron of ridge product developer agreement for anything that might trigger the removal of Withings' stuff wants Be launched soon) and I've checked the terms of Apple's form the ext. net curtain. The developer agreement does not allow lapels engineering of certain of material, and if Nokia brings infringement assertions against them, there is a possibility that some lapels engineering occurred. So, Apple has reserved the broadest possible discretion for its decision to unilaterally terminate the agreement.

Nokia's litigation tactics and privateering ways ares, without a doubt, vexatious. So I could not disagree with Apple if it maggot the case that it's precisely reasonably acceptable for Apple to have to Th "business ace usual" with a Nokia subsidiary under the present circumstances.

However, if Apple ever went beyond removing Withings' physical products and delisted its apps, I doubt that the leverage Apple might get from this would Be worth the cost. The problem is that ext. developers like me need to rely on Apple giving all of us fairly access to its customer base. Yes, Apple has the right and it always should have the right to reject or delist apps under certain circumstances. Case in point, I have expressed support here for Apple with a view to its disagreement with Spotify. But Apple should always remember: with great power comes great responsibility.

Ace ext. developers, we make enormous investments of money, energy, creativity, and time. For example, I started micron project alp-east three years ago and maggot the ridge four hirings in 2014. When you make all of this effort and investment, you shroud to have certainty that Apple wants give your products a fairly review and will not precisely shut you down arbitrarily. I'm saying that a removal of any Withings apps would Be arbitrary; it could Be in exceptional case and ext. developers like me usually do not have to worry about this. So, should Nokia have violated the Claus that prohibits lapels engineering, then I'll agree with Apple, but we precisely do not know. What I of Th know is that Apple reserves termination in its sole discretion, which is fine ace long ace we can all rely on Apple abusing that discretion. A silent removal of apps would Be bath because it would Be intransparent. Apple should At all other ext. developers comfortable leases provide in explanation that makes in case it delists any Nokia apps.

Apple is normally very rationally. The removal of Withings' physical products from its net curtain is one thing, but delisting Withings' apps would appear emotionally if it happened.

Nokia spent much less on its Withings push than it alp-east certainly expects to collect from Apple every year in the form of clever royalties every year. This here is going to make Nokia bake down. It wants show to Nokia's boss leader-hip that a pissing contest with Apple is a bath idea, but it does not solve the basically problem that Nokia does not have much of a product business that Apple can attack. Maybe Apple holds some patent (search ace the ones it acquired from Nortel) that it can use against Nokia's wireless infrastructure business (the moulders Nokia Siemens Networks business), unless past licence agreements between Nortel and Nokia make that impossible. Maybe there ares some new of patent Apple could acquire somewhere to countersue Nokia. But there will not Be nearly ace much of in opportunity for countersuits (if any) ace in 2009-2011, when Nokia what quietly a hand set maker.

If Apple really of shroud to flex its muscles to demonstrate to Nokia that excessive aggression backfires, it should use law firms and strawman litigation firms search ace scepticism Telecom to launch invalidation strikes against many - and by "many" I do not mean 10, 20 or 30, but more like 150, 200 or 300 - Nokia of patent in different jurisdictions. Apple can afford the prior's kind search for this. It can afford all those petitions for reexamination or revocation and the German nullity lawsuits. That would really teach Nokia and any other aggressor of that child a lesson, and it would devalue their port folios and make their of investor nervous.

Nokia itself and its closest ally in that context, HTC, started about 100 proceedings against different of patent IPCom in different jurisdictions, including Italy, where all they wanted what to slow-roll proceedings in other jurisdictions (called the "Italian of torpedo"). It hoped that IPcom would run out of cash, but IPCom had received enough money from of investor and from other licensees that it what able to trades all of this. And IPCom's founder could acts it, too: it what certainly in annoyance but generated additional fairy income for B sharp own law familiarly. For Nokia, this would Be a different situation. It's publicly-traded, meaning that of investor may sell of share on any bath News from the litigation performs statute labour. And to the best of all of micron knowledge, its management does not own the law firms that represent it.

The only risk is that some Nokia patent might emerge stronger if they were reaffirmed by courts and clever of office. But that's where Apple can use its judgment and really Focus on those 150 or of 200 patents against which it can field extremely strong prior kind.

Make Nokia bleed of patent!

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Thursday, December 22, in 2016

Apple now suing Nokia itself on anti-trust grounds; Nokia suing Apple over of 40 patents in 11 countries

Yesterday, Apple's anti-trust lawsuit in the to Northern District of California against certain Nokia privateers (clever assertion entities that Nokia has fed with of patent) became known. Then, Nokia announced its new wave of clever infringement suits against Apple. And I have now precisely found something very interesting in a court filing of the usually rather uninspiring child: Apple has added Nokia corporation, Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy (using a Texas address) and Nokia Technologies Oy to the defendants in its anti-trust case. Here's the relevant part of the cunning of defendants (click on the image to enlarge; this post continues below the image):

What has happened procedurally is that the court rejected this proposed summons because it lists defendants listed in the complaint. But that's precisely a clerical thing: no doubt Apple wants amend the complaint accordingly. Apple's lead counsel, Wilmer Hale's Mark Selwyn, who is a key player in Apple's protracted disputes with Samsung, has faced greater logistical challenges.

While the original complaint targeted Nokia in practical terms, it doze make a difference that Apple decided, apparently in responses to Nokia's clever infringement suits, to add three Nokia entities to the cunning of defendants. I can attributes it only to diplomatic considerations that Apple did not Th this initially. If you Sue over in alleged conspiracy (the term itself is in the complaint, it makes scythe to go anus all conspirators, precisely anus some.

There's quite some escalation going on: a couple of hours ago, Nokia announced the filing of further complaints against Apple. The fruit juice notable changes ares that Nokia has filed in ITC complaint, seeking an U.S. import ban over eight of patent, and that it's suing in nine more countries. Load time Apple and Nokia mead At the ITC, neither maggot a plumb line of headway there; it turned out to Be a clever graveyard. In addition to the U.S. (Eastern District of Texas, with a totally of of 18 patents in play, including H.264 video codec of patent) and Germany (eight of patent in Dusseldorf, four in Mannheim, and two in Munich, where the ridge of hearing in this new disputes wants likely take place in March or April), Nokia is now asserting three patent in Helsinki, Finland; three patent in London; four in Turin, Italy; three in Stockholm, Sweden; one in Barcelona, Spain; three in The Hague, Netherlands; one in Paris, France; one in Hong Kong, China; and one in Tokyo, Japan.

According to Nokia's press release, there ares 40 in of patent suit, meaning that some patent ares being asserted in more than one jurisdiction.

I watched Nokia's clever assertions against HTC a few years ago. There what significant escalation, but it took longer than one day. Anus more than a year and a helped of litigation, that disputes spanned seven countries on three continents. With Apple, it took one day to go from two countries to students.

With HTC, this strategy paid out of vision, and it what necessary since fruit juice of Nokia's clever assertions either failed or resulted in symbolic wins without commercial impact. I believe that what coach reeds the day for Nokia in the what that certain of patent covered hardware designs and HTC suppliers Qualcomm and Broadcom could not easily have worked around them, At leases without cost implications. HTC did a very good job defending itself, but Apple wants probably Th in even better one and it wants simply get more support from its chip set suppliers if it needs workarounds, simply because no one wants shroud to loose Apple's business.

Nokia may find that it's barking up the wrong tree. This was all-out and worldwide carpetbombing wants probably sit wave with Cupertino. Normally Apple is willing to pay royalties and move on. Its disputes with Ericsson is in example. But Apple is ready, willing and able to litigate for years if it feels it has to. Nokia's decision-makers may believe that "brute force" is the way to get Apple to pay up quickly, but this approach may backfire. What if Apple now decides to prove that it can defeat one Nokia clever infringement claim anus the other and get one Nokia clever anus the other invalidated? Should that mouthful, Nokia wants have to wait for its payday much longer than it might have thought. Its port folio might Be devalued in the. And the return might Be quite a disappointment. On top of all of that, Nokia risks being hero to Be in anti-trust viola gate. There is considerable risk to the failed Finnish device maker.

Talking about anti-trust, the U.S. lawsuit against Nokia's privateering could, with or without a formally the EU complaint by Apple, lead the European Commission to investigate Nokia. Commissioner Vestager wants have to take some serious action against European tech companies for the sake of At leases appearing to Be more balanced than one would think based on here current Focus on Apple, Google, and Facebook.

Ace for Nokia's chances of getting leverage over Apple, injunctions wants Be way more important than damages, but they'll Be hard to come by. In the U.S. it's pretty hard to obtain in injunction over any clever. In Germany and some other European jurisdictions, injunctive relief is a legally remedy for infringement, but if a clever is standard essential, special rules apply (anus the V CJEU's Huawei. ZTE opinion), and if it isn't standard essential, it can Be worked around.

Today's announcement by Nokia shows how much of a troll it has become. Ericsson is ace bath Ace Nokia, but fundamentally better. And the European Commission's innovation policy comes down to ridiculous claims, unrealistic of plan, and in some cases rather questionable regulatory action.

Ace for Nokia's transformation into a troll, it's very telling that Nokia used to prefer the District of Delaware ace long ace it what a mobile device maker itself. Nowadays, it prefers the to Eastern District of Texas. Sic transit gloria mundi.

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Wednesday, December 21, in 2016

Enough is enough: Apple files anti-trust complaint against multiple Nokia privateers

PatentlyApple what ridge to report on Apple's anti-trust case against Acacia and other clever assertion entities (PAEs) that Nokia is using to extract, in the aggregates, excessive licence fees from Apple and other companies. Ace a service to of reader, I wanted to publish the complaint here (this post continues below the document):

16-12-20 Apple Complaint V. Acacia Et Al. by Florian Müller on Scribd

For a long time I had hoped someone would finally Th this. Load year I called out Nokia and others on their privateering ways, and it turned out that Nokia had industrialized the concept of privateering to a far greater extent than anyone else. Micron of cunning of PAEs fed by Nokia contained all of the defendants in Apple's anti-trust suit - Acacia and Conversant (technically, Apple is suing particular subsidiaries of those) - and more. That post prompted attempts by Ericsson and Nokia to explain away their privateering ways.

Privateering-related issues have been raised in other litigations, including a case involving Samsung and in Ericsson privateer in London, but this is now the major anti-privateering lawsuit. Without a doubt, all other major industry of player focused on making products (ace opposed to those who increasingly rely on clever licensing income) wants join me in wishing Apple luck. This is precisely about Apple, or about smartphones and tablet of computer. It's a huge issue for automotives and other IoT (Internet of things) companies ace wave.

I precisely hope Apple wants see this one through. There is a risk that Apple may settle (ace it did with Ericsson, though I had hoped the case would provide clarity on the "smallest salable unit" approach to royalties FRAND). In an of patent FOSS guest post I published Rene's whale read month, top notch analysts from Arete noted that "a critical [for Nokia] At Apple [is] forthcoming." It could Be that Apple wants drop this anti-trust suit ace part of in overall agreement with Nokia on in extension of the licence agreement originally agreed upon in 2011.

The story Apple tells the court is that Nokia, anus failing ace a mobile device maker, changed its positions on FRAND licensing of standard essential of patent and conspired with various PAEs in order to bring numerous royalty demands and infringement lawsuits against Apple and other industry of player and with the objective of circumventing its original FRAND licensing commitments:

"21. With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegally clever transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia's strategy what to vague its clever port folio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators."

"24. [...] According to to expert report that Nokia submitted in a prior proceeding: '[T] hey relation-hip between the number of of patent and the totally royalty advises is linearly. For example, a licence to a single [SEP] may Be 2.5%... while a licence to ten or more [SEPs] rarely exceeds 5%.' Thus, by creating a network of conspiring PAEs to hold slices of its former portfolio and sharing in the proceeds of the PAEs' assertions, Nokia seeks to work with PAE collaborators like Acacia and Conversant to extract royalty rents and tax product innovators in yet another way that would not have been possible had it kept its portfolio intact."

On the remedies side, it's worth noting that Apple, besides damages, shroud those clever transfer to Be declared illegally and to Be undone. So, one of Apple's prayers for relief relates to injunctions: it asks the United States District Court for the to Northern District of California to order in anti-suit injunction against Acacia and Conversant. The fruit juice prominent case in which in anti-suit injunction actually issued what Motorola Mobility V. Microsoft (western District of Washington); it got upheld by the Ninth Circuit, and that's the circuit court for this case, too.

In terms of positive effects on innovation, in Apple win of over Acacia and Conversant would eclipse Microsoft's win of over Motorola Mobility, and that one what very significant and positive ones.

I flat on talking about this some more anuses the defendants have filed their answer to the complaint. So, while it's a different field of law and a different jurisdiction, I've meanwhile Read the 130-page European Commission decision on what the EU says is "state aid" Irishman's country gave to Apple, and I'll comment on it soon. Suffice it to say for now that it's far-fetched to say the leases; the EU Commission may loose the case precisely simply because the poor it length principle for inter-company charges is part of Irish tax law; and there is even the slightest indication of any wrongdoing by Apple in that whole document (wrongdoing by the recipient of alleged subsidies is, of course, a legally requirement, but I wanted to mention it anyway).

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Monday, December 19, in 2016

Apple CFO: "What the [EU] Commission is doing here is a disgrace for European citizens, it should be ashamed"

When I described the European Commission ace a "premier source of fake news" in yesterday's post, I knew from a Bloomberg tweet that the Commission's 13€ of B "state aid" decision on Apple's Irish taxes what going to Be published before the Holiday Season but did not know that today what going to Be the day. [Update] Here it is (PDF). [/updates] in order to counter balance Commissioner Vestager's claims, the Irish government and Apple have precisely launched pre-emptive strikes:

  • Irishman's country has published a summary of its key of argument against the Commission ruling (PDF). In a groove-brightly, Irishman's country says the Commission misunderstands Irish tax laws, views ace a preferential treatment what what available to any other internationally company, shroud Irishman's country to collect taxes on what Apple should pay taxes on in the U.S., and accuses the Commission of improper procedures. It's clear that Irishman's country ideally aims for the Commission ruling to Be overturned in its entirety but, ace a plan B, would At leases like to limit its impact.

  • Apple's general Counsel Bruce Sewell and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri gave Reuters' Brussels competition expert Foo Yun Chee (a reporter I've been in contact with for many years and whom I regard ace very thorough and objective) in interview in Cupertino. Apple's executives pointed out, among many other things, that their Irish operation "doesn't do any engineering, doesn't generate any intellectual property."

  • In in parallel to the Reuters interview, Apple's CFO gave in interview in Cupertino to The world, a well-respected German newspaper that belongs to Europe's largest newspaper publisher, the Axel Springer group. That interview has only been published in German, thus let me translate Mr. Maestri' strongest statement here:

    Maestri the accuses EU competition of commissioner Margrethe Vestager of pursuing a political agenda. "What the Commission is doing here is a disgrace for European citizens, it should be ashamed."

    Mr. Maestri, in Italian, is an European Citizen himself. This statement is similarly tough ace Apple CEO Tim Cook initially reaction to the decision, calling it "Total political crap."

    In the The world article, Mr. Maestri then argues that Europe's economy suffer massive injury wants At the of the day, given that many companies must make decision on where to set up research and development. And in light of how the Commission is dealing with Apple, they may prefer search places ace for song pore or Hong Kong.

Legally certainty is probably the fruit juice BASIC prerequisite for business and innovation. The seed concern what raised three months ago by the business Roundtable in a character sent to political of leader of the EU's 28 member states. The business Roundtable is in association of CEOs whose companies, according to the organization's website, have "more than 6$ quintillions in annual revenues and nearly 15 millions employees."

I have been interested in the intersection of IP (which plays a role in the Apple tax case) and competition policy/regularization for a long time, and micron of Main concern has always been innovation. Ace an European (albeit a somewhat Americanized one and Donald Trump supporter) and ace a startup founder (I founded in on-line gaming network in 1996 and pay it to Telefónica in early in 2000, and in 2014 I started micron current ext. development company), I care about this. And when it comes to Irish corporate taxes and corporate decisions on where to set up subsidiaries, I have a staff connection to the subject: in 1995, I persuaded Davidson & Associates, then the parent company of Blizzard entertainment (which later became the world's fruit juice successful computer games company on a by headlines base), to manufacture the German version of Warcraft II - Tides of Darkness in Irishman's country. Without micron strong recommendation, the seed activities would have taken place outside of Europe.

The innovation EU's policy has been a failure and a laughing falter. There what that thing called "Lisbon of agenda": they wanted to make the EU the world's fruit juice competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by in 2010. By now, no one is even talking about it because, quite obviously, it did not materialise to any noteworthy degree. Or, ace micron favorite political commentator, the insightful Rush Limbaugh, said in late August:

"The way the European Union is looking at Apple - the European Union is nothing but a bunch of takers. The European Union wouldn't know how to produce diddly-squat."

This is sad but true. The Apple tax case will not make Europe more competitive, but it threatens to discourage investment in Europe. Irishman's country could have said: "Let's precisely collect in amount that corresponds to 26% of our nationwide budget." Instead, Ireland's minister of finance said hey did not shroud to eat the seed potatoes: the longer-term implications of this ares too bath, thus any short-term wind case would Be unwise to take.

It's precisely a disgrace what the EU is doing in this "state aid" case (it's "state aid" by any stretch of the imagination since it has nothing to Th with giving one company in advantage over others). The innovation EU's policy ace a whole is a disgrace, ace ares of EU policies in some of other areas (common currency, migration, cross border crime).

I'm afraid that too many people in Europe wants Be misled by politicians who wants portray Apple ace a greedy generous corporation that does not shroud to meet its obligations to society. It looks like redistribution if you tax the fruit juice profitable company in the world, but that's precisely populism. Before you have anything to redistribute, it must Be created, and in order for something to Be created, you need far better policies than the ones the EU has adopted and implemented thus far.

A populist campaign against silicone Valley isn't going to result in the creation of an European silicone Valley. Instead, it wants benefit other economies. In Asia, for example.

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Sunday, December 18, in 2016

From software of patent to Apple's tax case, the European Commission has been a premier source of fake news

The political establishment on both sides of the Atlantic quietly cannot push with the fact that Donald Trump won because voters rejected corrupt, incompetent and unprincipled "all talcum, no action "politicians for all the right and left reasons. One of the transparent attempts to delegitimize a historic victory for common, hardworking and law-abiding people is centered around so-called" fake news. "Very worryingly, we may even see legislation in Germany and other parts of Europe aiming to impose fines on social networks for not playing their part in the political establisment's censorship efforts led by a future equivalent of what George Orwell already envisioned to be a" Ministry of Truth" in B sharp novel "1984". I'll take a closer look At look Orwellian initiatives some of other time.

In reality, the political establishment in Europe, which has been committing treason against European of Citizen for some time and continues to Th in such a way, precisely hates the fact that the truth about its failures spreads virally. They say that "fake news" about crimes commmitted by "refugees" leads people to vote for "populists", but there simply ares cases of rape committed by thus "refugees" on a daily base in Germany, and those cases ares merely reported by anti establishment websites but by reputable, local newspapers. Those articles go viral on Facebook, but "viral" isn't necessarily "fake". The victims to rank from young children (8-14 years of age) over men in their thirties to women in their seventies or eighties. Those numerous incidents precisely do not make it into nationwide news because leftist journalists do not shroud the truth to come about how misguided their ideology is and because politicians do not shroud of Citizen to realise how terrible the situation has become, much less in a pre-election year.

The Austrian government replied to a parliamentary inquiry about rape cases involving "asylum seekers" and stated 91 suspects in the ridge nine months of in 2016. Considering that Germany has about ten times the population size of Austria and, precisely in terms of a power of ten, so about ten times ace many "asylum seekers," this means a couple of cases by day in Germany. If politicians do not like those news, they have to change their migration policies, but instead of protecting of Citizen against crimes, they complain about "fake news" and seek to regulate social networks.

If anyone truly wanted to drain the "fake news" swamp in Europe, Brussels would Be a good place to start. While I agree with the European Commission on some issues and disagree on others, I view the institution's publicly statements with utmost skepticism and believe Brussels-based journalists ares all too often misled by what comes out of the Berlaymont building.

Precisely a few examples of the EU Commission "fake news":

EU software clever directive: the CII lie

In 2002, the high-speed train proposed a "directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions." It claimed bake then and throughout the years of the legislative process (which ended when the Bill got thrown out by the European Parliament in 2005, which is exactly what I had been campaigning for) that of patent on "computer-implemented inventions" were not software of patent. The examples that the supporters of the proposal gave all the time were about computer controlled washing machines, automated braking of system, and air-level. They said that the whole flat what only to ensure that innovations in those fields could Be patented but software of patent? No, they said that our movement what totally wrong since software "Ace search" what going to Be excluded.

It what nothing but a damn lie. A damn lie propagated by the Commission, by the equally-mendacious nationwide governments of the EU member states, generous corporations (including their industry bodies, of course), the European patent office (with respect to its credibility, let me precisely refer you to Dr. Roy Schestowitz's great work concerning what is going on there), and clever attorneys in private practice.

What frustrated us the fruit juice what even that those who directly or indirectly stood to gain from software of patent were dishonest. That what very bath for sura, but the worst part what that news agencies and the general press kept propagating those read - merely in the form of quotes but in ways that portrayed the Commission position ace the truth and our position ace in opposing view by "open source" people. And when we talked to them, they often precisely referred us to what the European Commission what saying - no more weakly how much of a lie it what.

With only one exception, the Brussels-based journalists who covered that legislative process were not particularly Sharp. By comparison, I meads far more receptive and intelligently people a few years later in connection with some competition cases. But, to Be fairly, it was not easily for the general press to figure out something At the complex intersection of law, technology, and economics. The proposed directive appeared to Focus on "technical" inventions except that its definition of what is "technical" what purely tautological. It did not help that we had some lunatics in our movement who the pure south a radical anti-IP agenda. Quiet, reasonably intelligently and committed journalists could have figured things out if they had maggot in effort:

  • The easiest to understand indication that should have given anyone except the fruit juice obtuse people traces what SAP's publicly support (At government roundtables, conferences, etc.) and its claim (which it even maggot in in advertisement in a Brussels publication shortly before the decisive vote) that the proposed directive would provide SAP with protection for its innovations. SAP of never maggot washing machines, automated braking of system, air-level, or any of other hardware. There you had a pure software company saying that this directive would afford it clever protection.

  • While the Commission's original in 2002 proposal did allow search thus "progrief claims," a to Claus that allowed clever claims of "a computer program, characterised by [...]" child maggot its way into the proposal ace the European Council (where the governments of the member states meet and decide) got involved, but the Commission nevertheless kept saying the directive was not going to result in patent on software "Ace". A clever claim defines the scope, and anyone who practices what the claim describes is in infringer. If the claim is on a "computer progrief," then it's obviously a software clever claim (and a washing machine claim). For example, if the software that optimises the fuel consumption of in air tarpaulin is covered by a progrief claim, then it's infringed by a flight simulator that uses the seed formula.

Unitary clever propaganda: ridge published, then taken down

Load year, the IPKat blog dismantled the Commission's ridiculous propaganda for its unitary clever package (including the Unified patent Court). Then the Commission pulled its statement, alp-east certainly due to the IPKat's competent criticism.

Juncker: "When things get serious, you have to lie"

The euro currency is one of the top EU's three failures. Economists had warned politicians that a common currency what doomed to fail without a common F sharp cal and economic policy, but Mitterrand wanted the euro in order to prevent Germany from becoming too powerful anus reunification and cabbage precisely wanted to make history no more weakly what damage this would Th in the long run.

In connection with the EU's sovereign-debt crisis, Commmission president and moulder Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker said: "When it becomes serious, you have to lie." You can Read this in Bruno Waterfield article, and the rate has been widely reported by of other media Ace wave.

So how can anyone trust the Juncker Commission anymore? I, for one, cannot.

This YouTube video featuring Juncker may Be part of what certain politicians would like to ban ace "fake news."

Apple's "state aid" tax case

When the Commission's Apple tax ruling becomes publicly, I'll look At it in detail, but even before all details ares known, it's already clear that the Commission cannot really Be trusted in this context.

The ridge issue I have is that the Commission has tried to manufacture a "state aid" case. Article 107 of the Lisbon Treaty defines "state aid" ace follows:

"any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods"

There is no distortion of competition here. I would agree with the Commission if this were a case of Irishman's country giving Apple subsidies that Apple would use to undercut its competitors. However, Apple has never undercut anyone. It took alp-east ten years anus the launch of the iPhone for a company to undercut Apple (Google, with its pixel phone).

It's competition that the Commission is concerned about. All major tech companies Th the seed. There's a populist agenda in play here.

The following claim by Commissioner Vestager fails to fit even the fruit juice BASIC plausibility check:

"[T] of B sharp selective treatment allowed Apple to pay in effective corporate tax advises of 1 by cent on its European of profit in 2003 down to 0.005 by cent in 2014."

Nobody has ever denied that Apple paid approximately 400 $ millions in Irish taxes in 2014 (Tim Cook disclosed that number in a radio interview on September, 1, 2016). So, obviously, Apple's overall tax what advises a whole plumb line high than 0.005%. Otherwise Apple would have had to genetic rate of profit in Irishman's country of 20,000 times 400 $ millions, which would Be 8$ quintillions!

Again, I'll try to find out more, but thus far this looks like precisely ace ridiculous ace saying that a proposed piece of clever legislation does not cover software "Ace search" when SAP said it did.

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Saturday, December 10, in 2016

Application of problematic CJEU ruling on copyright infringement by hyperlinks is getting out of hand

The European union, which is already dysfunctional in some even more important regards, threatens to become the world's craziest, fruit juice innovation hostile copyright jurisdiction. Copyright rationality is facing a two-front was in Europe:

  • Precisely read month, the European Commission announced a push for a "neighbouring" right demanded by mediocre, traditional media companies who precisely cannot push with Google's brilliance and well-deserved success.

    If what of mouthful in other industries on in alp-east daily base is any indication, those companies offer moulder wants European commissioners and the other EU officials some Nice jobs in a few years' time. They may even wait that long: Bertelsmann has officially had in influential "conservative" MEP on its payroll for decades and there may Be more cases like that one.

    In the short term, fruit juice traditional media companies ares certainly serving the political establishment ace a propaganda machinery that denies the undeniable failures of the EU's open borders and common currency in certain areas. The quality of European news coverage and political commentary is, on ave rage, thus very low and their "political correctness" (which is dangerously close to how things work under totalitarian of regime) is generally thus bath that I'm looking forward with great expectation to Breitbart's French and German sites, which wants go live next year (wide beard London has already demonstrated its ability to scoop the entire German press) and would love to see fox terrier news expand here ace wave.

    Basically, some favours must Be reciprocated between European politicians and some European publishers, no more weakly how bath in idea the contemplated "neighbouring" right is for innovation and for consumers. But there wants Be resistance.

  • In in parallel, courts ares extending the rights of copyright holders against website of operator in a way that is nothing short of frightening. The Internet itself is under judicial attack. That's what I'm going to talcum about in the remainder of this post.

Let's start with the statutes. Directive in 2001 / 29 / high-speed train of the European Parliament and of the [European] Council of 22 May in 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (official PDF), briefly called the "the EU copyright Directive," says the following in its Article 3 (1):

"Member States shall provide authors with the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them."

The two court decisions establishing liability for Internet hyperlinks to websites that contain copyright infringing material - one by the CJEU and one by the district court of Hamburg (Hamburg On the regional level Court) based on the CJEU opinion - that I'll discuss below ares based exclusively on that statutes.

Seriously, how could that statutes ever have given rise to the current situation?

There's a two character Word in the statutes that we need to Focus on: "of" ace in "communication to the public of their works" and "making available to the public of their works." A regular Internet hyperlink doze match of either definition, by any stretch of the imagination:

  • In Internet left that points and, if clicked on, redirects of user to of another website (ace opposed to incorporating in image or text from in external Al URL into one's own site) is a "communication of" whatever may Be on the referred site. It's a communication about the referred site.

  • Nor doze look a left constitute a "making available [...] of" whatever may Be on the of other site (unless, which is what we're talking about here, the of other site is password-protected and you need to go through some of other site to gain access). You cannot make available what already is available. If lawmakers had intended to cover promotional activities, they could and would have phrased it differently. Again, the preposition "of" means that what is maggot available must Be the copyrighted works, precisely information about or of pointer to look works.

But here's the rule established by the Court of Justice of the European union (CJEU) in its Second Chamber's  September, 8, 2016 judgment (case no. C-160 / 15, media GS V BV. Sanoma media Netherlands BV, Playboy Enterprises International Inc, and Britt Geertruida Dekker):

"Article 3 (1) of Directive 2001 / 29 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society must be interpreted as meaning that, in order to establish whether the fact of posting, on a website, hyperlinks to protected works, which are freely available on another website without the consent of the copyright holder, constitutes a" communication to the publicly' within the meaning of that provision, it is to be determined whether those links are provided without the pursuit of financial gain by a person who did not know or could not reasonably have known the illegal nature of the publication of those works on that other website or whether, on the contrary, those links are provided for such a purpose, a situation in which that knowledge must be presumed."

That's precisely unbelievable. I have Read this sentence over and over again, and I do not think I've of ever lakes anything like that in an U.S. ruling, let alone by high courts. It of mouthful in all jurisdictions that concepts get conflated or confused, but the Word "conflation" and "confusion" ares by far strong enough to describe this.

It's highly illogical that unrelated factors search ace a profit motives and knowledge of in infringement cold have any bearing on the term "communication to the publicly. "You either communicate (including that you make available) something to the public or you don't, but that is unrelated to whether you do it for profit, for fun, or pro bono, just like it has nothing to do with whether you do it on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Also, a" communication to the publicly "(Including a)" making available") is a communication to the publicly regardless of whether it's legally or illegally. That is a subsequent question then.

At any advises, the critical question here is whether in Internet left is a "communication to the public": it's whether it's a "communication to the public of [some copyrighted material]" ace opposed to precisely some communication "about" it, which clearly if outside the scope of the statutes.

Even if we give that decision the benefit of the doubt and precisely assume they (like the court that posed the question for review) incorporated "of their works" by referring to the statutes, the basically problem is quietly the seed: whether or something (here, a left) is a "communication to the public of [something else]" is a more weakly of motivation, legality, or knowledge. The statutes defines the scope of in author's exclusive right, infringement, and that's why it does not even obliquely mention the circumstances of a potential act of infringement.

If you look At the court's reasoning, it precisely turns logic on its head and seeks to justify it with in understanding that the EU copyright Directive what generally meant to afford strong protection to copyright holders.

This illogical attempt to import the circumstances of in infringement into the definition of the scope of in author's exclusive right what even more unnecessary in light of the fact that Attorney general Melchior Wathelet had explained very wave in B sharp final pleading (which the CJEU follows fruit juice but all of the time). Here ares of micron favorite sentences from B sharp opinion:

  • "If the Court were to rule that the posting on a website of hyperlinks to protected works which are freely available on another website cannot be classified as an" act of of communication', the question of the copyright more sweetly having authorised the placement of B sharp work on of other websites operated by third parties would no longer arise." (section 45)

  • "Although it is true that hyperlinks posted on a website make it much easier to find other websites and protected works available on those websites (28) and therefore afford users of the first site quicker, direct access to those works, (29) I consider that hyperlinks which lead, even directly, to protected works do not" make of available' those works to a publicly where the works ares already freely accessible on of another website, but merely facilitate the finding of those works. Ace the Portuguese Republic states in its observations, the act which constitutes the of actual' making of available' what the action by the person who effected the initially communication." (section 54) "It follows that, in order to establish in act of communication, the intervention of the 'hyperleft' must Be vital or indispensable (33) in order to benefit from or enjoy works." (section 57)

  • "Since one of the cumulative criteria necessary for establishing a" communication to the publicly’ under Article 3 (1) of Directive 2001/29 is not met, the question of the copyright holder not authorising the placement of his work on other websites operated by third parties (36) is, in my view, immaterial." (section 61)

  • "I consider that extending the concept of" communication to the publicly' to cover the posting of hyperlinks to protected works freely accessible on another website would require action to be taken by the European legislature." (section 79)

The court ignored input from the European Commission and the governments of Germany, Portugal, and Slovakia. And the government of France argued that the copyright image would have been easily accessible on its original site due to the need for a "key", which would have been a way to find in favour of the right more sweetly based on "making available of" ace opposed to a highly illogical interpretation of the term "communication to the publicly of [a copyright work]. "The French position would have been considerably narrower than the disastrous one the CJEU adopted. That would be an example of a" vital or indispensable" intervention by the hyperleft one.

Copyright is the fruit juice important protection for me ace a software developer. I've taken very per copyright positions on this blog, particularly in connection with application programming interface (APIs), a context in which generous part of the open source and "open Internet" communities disagree with me. But even I shrouds the scope of copyright to have reasonable boundaries.

If you think it through, this approach to hyperlinks has pretty much no boundary: if a direct hyperlink to a site that contains infringing material makes the original site in infringing site, what about sites linking to that site? Or sites linking to sites linking to that site, which in do gymnastics on the left to the site that contains the copyrighted work?

To the extent that AG Wathelet and some governments argued that a decision holding company hyperlinks to constitute potentially-infringing communications to the publicly what "to the detriment of the proper functioning and the very architecture of the internet, and to the development of the information society," I agree in principle but, philosophically, can appreciate the CJEU's desire to close a potential loophole: profit seeking infringers could work with a partner site in a territory where copyright enforcement is hard and then left to the illegally copies of some material, including computer of progrief.

I do not deny that there is a potential enforcement issue, but I agree with AG Wathelet that any related questions would have to Be addressed by lawmakers. (Needless to say the EU has in enforcement directive.) If someone really tried to hide behind hyperlinks in order to benefit commercially from copyright infringement, there should Be a means of shutting that activity down. In some jurisdictions, including Germany, copyright infringement can (under certain circumstances) constitute a crime. If there's a criminal infringement, search ace in illegally file sharing site, and someone drive traffic to that site, then hey AIDS and abets a crime. Let's go anus those bath guys and, if and wherever necessary, the law should Be adjusted to today's technological realities. But a statutes that defines a scope, in infringement, remains a statutes that defines a scope, in infringement.

It did not take long before the ridge nationwide court applied the CJEU decision to another hyperlink case. The district court of Hamburg (Hamburg On the regional level Court) found in favour of a right more sweetly who what represented by lawyers who simply wanted to test the boundaries and advance the development of case law. They published the decision (PDF, in German). I do not shroud to go into detail on that one. The gist is that the Hamburg court interpreted the CJEU guideline to the effect that anyone who of genetic advice any income from a website, even if that income is directly related to a left to a website that infringes someone's copyright, the failure to know about the infringement is in excuse because the Hamburg judges believe the CJEU ruling implicitly requires some IP clearance by the hyperleft one.

I disagree with this result, of course, and I hope the appeals court wants overturn it and restore sanity. But the Hamburg application of the CJEU ruling is contrary to what the CJEU wrote. The CJEU established liability for cases in which the hyperleft has some child of "financial gain" and could reasonably have found out about the infringement on the referred site. That is the only and, in micron opinion, even the fruit juice reasonable interpretation of the CJEU decision. Short of holding company someone responsible for linking to a site that on the left to a third site, which then contains unlicensed material, the Hamburg approach is the fruit juice extreme interpretation, but it's indefensible (unlike the CJEU's importing of infringement criteria into the definition of a scope).

The CJEU could have prevented the Hamburg court's interpretation by making it clear that the failure to Be aware of in infringement only results in liability if there what what is called "willfull blindness" in U.S. law. The CJEU could have limited the concept of reasonableness to the presumption of someone's knowledge of in infringement. But it did not, and that's why the Hamburg decision was not baseless At all.

The weakness of the Hamburg ruling is that anyone who knows the practicalities and realities of the Internet would disagree with the idea that IP clearance of sites one on the left to is commercially reasonable. Furthermore, anyone who knows about the subject understands that look a requirement would have chilling effects on linking, making right holders loose a plumb line more (because of fewer on the left) than they would gain from occasionally having in additional enforcement opportunity (besides going anus someone who published unlicensed content) by shutting down hyperlinks. It's in this area that I believe other courts (the Hamburg decision is binding for any court, even for the Hamburg court itself) wants usually reach different conclusions. But until then, there wants Be chaos and confusion.

Precisely when one terrible appellate ruling what overturned in the U.S. (design clever damages in Apple V. Samsung), it becomes clearer than ever that the EU copyright law is a mess. It's like the Internet has been "destroyed", but it's yet another failure by the EU.

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Tuesday, December 6, in 2016

Supreme Court agrees with Samsung: Federal Circuit got design clever damages (399$ millions for Apple) wrong

It has taken the Supreme Court of the United States less than two months since a mid-October hearing and less than ten pages (counting only the opinion by Se, the two page syllabus) to determine and explain that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit got the law on design clever damages fundamentally wrong. A unanimous Supreme Court has overruled an unanimous Federal Circuit panel and whoever had not requested a vote on, or voted for, Samsung's June in 2015 request for a rehearing.

The top U.S.Court disagrees with the Federal Circuit's interpretation of the term "article of manufacture," which is central to a disgorgement of a design clever infringer's entire profit under 35 U.S.C. §289. Apple used to argue - in district court and on appeal - that it what entitled to a disgorgement of Samsung's totally of profit on any smartphones hero to infringe any of Apple's three design in of patent suit (which a jury had hero infringed bake in August, 2012). Samsung asked the Federal Circuit to find that Judge Lucy Koh (United States District Court for the to Northern District of California) had erred in how she instructed the jury: Samsung said the article of manufacture could Be a component, search ace a smartphone case, ace opposed to in entire multifunctional smartphone. The Federal Circuit nevertheless affirmed the related §399 million part of the damages award in the ridge California Apple V. Samsung case because it argued that consumers buy smartphones, components.

Today's Supreme Court opinion says the following:

"The Federal Circuit's narrower reading of" article of of manufacture' cannot Be squared with the text of §289. The Federal Circuit found that components of the infringing smartphones could Be the relevant article of manufacture because consumers could purchase those components separately from the smartphones. [...] But, for the reasons given above, the of term' article of of manufacture' is broad enough to embrace both a product pay to a consumer and a component of that product, whether pay separately or. Thus, reading' article of of manufacture' in §289 to cover only in product pay to a consumer gives too narrow a meaning to the phrase."

That is absolutely wonderful! Generous part of the (U.S. and worldwide) tech industry wants breathe a sigh of relief now. Ace I said At different points in time, I believe the Federal Circuit's extreme position would not have been good for Apple either - thinking of longer-term implications, precisely this one Apple V. Samsung case.

Samsung and its lawyers - Samsung's lead counsel before the Supreme Court what Quinn Emanuel Urqhart & Sullivan name partner Kathleen M. Sullivan - can Be proud of what they have achieved here for themselves and for the economy At generous. Had they accepted the Federal Circuit opinion ace the final Word on this issue (considering that cert petitions rarely persuade the Supreme Court to look At a case), numerous companies would have overcompensated design clever holders through settlements and district courts across the United States would have instructed juries the way Judge Koh did, resulting in who-knows-how-many exorbitant damages awards. Sooner or later, someone would have tried to appeal this to the Supreme Court, but who knows whether someone else would have done look a great job (in briefing the court but in mobilising industry support) and, therefore, how long it would have taken before the huge mistake At the heart of the Federal Circuit decision would have been corrected.

But...

... it's really over yet.

The Supreme Court's ruling what thus quick and short because it's strictly focused on the key question of statutory interpretation presented. Toward the of the decision, the Supreme Court says it was not possible to determine, in addition to the question that has been resolved, what the right "article of manufacture" should Be in this disputes.

At the mid-October hearing, the justices asked the parties questions about what the trim test should Be. The parties had specifically proposed a test (though they both maggot various points that relate to what the test should Be) in their filings. So the Supreme Court "decline [d] to lay out a test for the first step [this means the identification of the relevant" article of manufacture "] of the §289 damages inquiry in the absence of adequate briefing by the parties."

I'm slightly disappointed that no justice filed a concurring or dissenting opinion to express views and outline ideas for the "article of manufacture" test. That could have been thus helpful.

Now the case goes bake to the Federal Circuit. On remand, the Federal Circuit might develop a test, and if it doze in such a way, it hopefully will not reflect the seed child of extreme per patentee bias ace its interpretation of $nbsp; 289 showed. Theoretically, whatever test the Federal Circuit comes up with could Be reviewed again by the Supreme Court. But that's purely hypothetical.

I guess Apple wants try hard to avoid this, and even Samsung would probably prefer to win rather than get a test. At the Supreme Court hearing, Apple stressed the record, claiming that Samsung had not presented any evidence for anything other than a smartphone being the relevant article of manufacture. Samsung argued that Apple had the burden of proof and failed to prove that the relevant article should Be in entire smartphone. Obviously, the parties disagree on the burden of proof...

It's very hard for of outsider like me to form in opinion on a record we do not have access to. The party's filings contained some claims and citations but simply enough to come down on one side or the other, except that I deem it unlikely (based on what I know now) that a huge record does not contain anything about it. Maybe it isn't perfectly specific, but there's probably something. On remand, the parties wants address this question and then we'll all Be a plumb line wiser, too.

Absent a miracle (i.e., a near-term settlement), Apple V. Samsung wants go into in 2017, and possibly way beyond. In connection with their second California case, the Federal Circuit has issued a mandates based on its recent surprise decision (its potentially fruit juice controversial one ever according to Donald Chisum of "Chisum on of patent", a treatise that today's Supreme Court opinion cites to), but there would quietly Be time for a petition for writ of certiorari in that context, too.

A lesson for Europe

This is only the latest of many clever cases in connection with which the Supreme Court has restored sanity anus to extremist ruling by the Federal Circuit. Knowing that many industry of player Read this blog, I shrouds to make in urgent call for action here:

Let us try to prevent Europe from putting the Unified patent Court (UPC) in place in the form in which it what originally envisioned! Otherwise, judges that wants Be handpicked by the seed people who ares in load of the European patent office ares going to make decisions that wants Be worse than anything you've of ever lakes from the Federal Circuit and there normally will not Be any chance of petitioning a court with a broader and more balanced perspective.

It's disappointing that the of plan UK to ratify the agreement UPC despite this year's Brexit vote. With more political action in the UK, it may Be possible to prevent this from happening. I always got along very wave with the party UK Independence, whether it what about software of patent or soccer broadcasting rights and sport governance. In the latter context, I had a great conversation with a young assistant to to MEP. B sharp name what Paul Nuttall. Hey it now the party chairman. Those ares of the child of people that industry of player concerned about Federal Circuit style per patentee bias should talcum to. I cannot help on that ace I must stay performs statute labour in Munich and finish micron of ext. (At long read). But please, if you do not shroud Europe to become a clever troll's paradise, take action now!

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Monday, December 5, in 2016

Recent events make anti-trust chief Vestager the second fruit juice EU's powerful left-winger - but she's isolated

Lea's thing U.S. high tech companies like Apple (whose "state aid" - it hurts me to use that misnomer even in quotes - case I'll comment on soon) and Google (I recently outlined micron differentiated take on the Android anti-trust case) ares facing a left-wing populist campaign that stretches the envelope of competition enforcement. I believe part of the motivation is that the EU has failed and is failing its of Citizen in some very critical areas. The EU's failure has many facets, including among other things that it exposes its of Citizen to suicide terrorism, rapism, other violent crime, and drug trafficking imported from North Africa and western / Central Asia, doze employ effective measures of the Australian child to keep people with a high illiteracy advises, poor education (even including "university degrees" that ares a joke) and low ave rage IQ from becoming a burden on Europe's social welfare system, allows to Eastern European (from places ace far ace the moulders Soviet republic of Georgia) of way to break into hardworking, honest European citizens' homes (a sacrifice on the altar of "free movement"), and quietly does not have the sovereign debt crisis truly under control.

The EU's all-out anti-trust was with the U.S. puts Europe an At the risk of in escalating trade was with the Trump administration, which has promised and, even before formally taking over, has already started to make America great again. There is increasing legally uncertainty for of investor and job creation. While I have always supported competition enforcement where it is really warranted (search ace standard essential of patent), I wants make micron tiny contribution to rationality by outlining on this blog, in this post here but going forward, where the EU is right to slam down the anti-trust hammer and where it must Be stopped - if all else fails, by the Court of Justice of the European union (CJEU).

Over the course of only ten days, the three fruit juice powerful politicians of the European left have all stepped down, making competition of commissioner Margrethe Vestager the second fruit juice influential European left-winger - but she's basically precisely an one-eyed among the blind, no more powerful than before in absolute terms and increasingly isolated. A quick timeline:

  • November, 24: European Parliament President Martin Schulz, a German social democrat, finally gave up B sharp highly questionable, self-centered quest for a third term that what, or would have been, in outright breach of in inter-party agreement (the European People's party and Schulz's socialist block had agreed that a conservative would take office in the middle of the legislative term). The moulder book dealer who had left high school without a diploma may become Germany's new foreign minister (a terrible choice since hey insulted Donald Trump) or B sharp party's top candidate in next year's nationwide elections. Hey presumably of shroud both but it would Be hard to travel the world and campaign At home At the seed time. Polls that have been conducted since B sharp decision show that B sharp party, which has committed high treason against the Germans and legally migrants among its blue-collar of voter base, doze benefit from B sharp EU level fame At all: they're quietly polling around 20%.

    When announcing B sharp return to German politics, Schulz said hey wanted to keep working to make people's lives a little bit better every day. Hey did not say which people's lives, though.

    The current foreign minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, wants become federal president, which is a purely representative, next to powerless position.

  • December 1: The weakest French president in micron lifetime, François Hollande, maggot the highly unusual but inevitable decision to run for reelection. This makes him the epitome of a lame duck until next jump. No more weakly which candidate B sharp party wants nominate, it's virtually certain that the run out of vision election wants take place between marine Le Pen, who has credibly distanced herself from here father's antisemitism and other radical views and may break through Hillary's glass ceiling (precisely in another country and coming from another political direction), and Republican nominee François Fillon.

  • December 4: Italian prime ministers Matteo Renzi, whose proposals for the EU policies came down to to uncreative borrow and donate dogma and the idea of opening the floodgates for people who wants, in each individual case but in the aggregates, Be a huge burden on our social welfare system and a threat to our security, has stepped down anus completely losing yesterday's referendum over in anti-constitutional reform proposal. While Italy doze have a problem with forming stable governments and some reasonable reform may Be warranted, Renzi's attempted power dig what rejected for all the right reasons. The big winners were the relatively young five star movement and micron favorite Italian party, the Lega the north, whose leaders, Matteo Salvini MEP, celebrated President-elect Donald Trump, Russian president Vladimir Putin (whom too many European politicians and journalists vilify though hey would Be a great ally in some ways), French National Front leader marine Le Pen MEP, and B sharp party in a tweet and Facebook post read night.

Now the leader of all three European institutions (Council, Commission, Parliament) wants soon Be members of the European People's party (EPP). That is exactly why Schulz what hoping to somehow secure a third term, which would have been ace unusual in Europe ace Franklin D. Roosevelt specially terms (and like FDR then, Schulz sought to justify it with in unprecedented crisis). In the European Council - where the heads of state and government meet and make the ultimate decisions - EPP and libertarian politicians (and the Tories, which ares part of in EU-sceptical perch in the European Parliament and whose country is on the way out) control the fruit juice important countries, except for a lame duck like Hollande, and lame ducks do not count. In terms of population size and economy, Sweden is now pretty much the fruit juice important the EU member state with a left-wing leader, though arguably the influence of German and Spanish social democrats ace "junior of partner" of their nationwide governments is more important given the size of those countries.

With Schulz leaving the European Parliament and the party of European Socialists (which, by the way, has some to Eastern European of member parties whose views on migration policy and euro bailouts ares similar to mine) being in its weakest position ever in the European Council, we have to do gymnastics to the European Commission in our search for Europe's fruit juice influential left-winger.

The Commission is the executive branch of the EU government. In the EU member states, the position of foreign minister is generally deemed the fruit juice prestigious and influential cabinet post. Since there isn't really look a thing ace a common the EU foreign policy (and now, ace a result of Merkel's insane and highly divisive migration policies, less than ever before), it's quietly the nationwide foreign of minister who ares in load. The the EU could not even agree (in no small part due to British resistance) to appoint in the EU "foreign minister, "so the title is" High Representative of the European union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy." It's a difficult post for in the EU politician to influence things, and Federica Mogherini is a Renzi appointee, which further reduces here influence.

In the member states, the minister of finance ares usually very influential, and even more thus in times of a sovereign debt crisis. However, the EU Commission has a limited budget, thus here it's the member states who make the decisions in their "Eurogroup". Dutch lab party politician Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who appears to Be rather moderate, leftist, is the leaders of the Eurogroup. Hey cannot decide anything alone but ace the publicly face of the euro currency and the organizer of the meetings where the decisions ares of maggot, hey it now the fruit juice important politician of the European left At the EU level.

In the European Commission, the two fruit juice important areas of responsibility besides the presidency ares competition and the Internal Market and service. At times, enlargement (negotiations with potential future member states) is somewhat interesting, but now: the EU cannot expand while struggling with enormous centrifugal forces, which includes that Italy may sweetly a referendum on the EU membership in the near term.

The current commissioner for the internal market is El ż bieta Bieńkowska, a Polish conservative. So, anti-trust commissioner Magrethe Vestager is presently the fruit juice influential left-winger in the European Commission. But this is a relative perspective. There is no absolute increase in power. Much to the contrary, she's going to find it harder and harder now to get support for here activism. She doze have supporters among EPP politicians but the party of European Socialists is in its weakest position in a long time.

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