Microsoft's licensing terms following the CFI ruling and the agreement with the EU Commission

The Microsoft Work Group Server Protocol Program License Agreements for Development and Product Distribution (WSPP Development Agreements)

Onsite consultation and copyright law

Presentation (in Italian) given at the Milan Conference "Diritto e tecnologie digitali per la valorizzazione e l'accessibilità delle conoscenze", Friday, 19 October 2007.

English Schools v. Microsoft licensing arrangements

From Becta: Becta, the government's education technology agency, has today made a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for alleged anti-competitive practices by Microsoft in the schools software marketplace and in relation to Microsoft's approach to document interoperability.

Principles for User Generated Content Services

Principles to be read here. Self-regulation and copyright. Comments on the so called filter alliance to be read on heise.

Gesang unter der Dusche erlaubt..

Amtsgericht Köln, Urteil vom 27. 09. 2007, Aktenzeichen 137 C 293/07. Nach Heise: "Denn zwar geschah das Singen "öffentlich" im Sinne von § 19 Abs. 2 UrhG. Weiterhin verlange die Vorschrift jedoch eine Darbietung, andernfalls wäre diese Bezeichnung im Gesetz überflüssig. "Nicht alles, was öffentlich geschieht, ist aber deswegen zwangsläufig eine Darbietung", befand im konkreten Fall das Gericht. Vielmehr handele es sich hier "um ein eigenes, dem Werkgenuss dienendes Singen und Musizieren, das urheberrechtsfrei ist". Die anwesenden Gäste wären nicht "dazu eingeladen, den Gesängen der Burschenschafter zu lauschen". Nach Deutung des Gerichts war es den Gästen "zumindest freigestellt, sogar mitzusingen". Daran ändere auch das Klavierspiel nichts, denn dieses sei als bloße Begleitung zu beurteilen, "die den Zweck gehabt haben mag, den Gesang zu stützen oder die Feierlichkeit des Geschehens zu unterstreichen."

Canada: Revision of the Predatory Pricing Enforcement Guidelines

The Bureau seeks now public comments on the revised Guidelines, which make a clear choice for an average avoidable cost standard. Also, "price matching" will be considered as a reasonable business justification.

On the (un)patentability of business methods

Interesting decision about the (un)patentability of business methods, also retracing the history of patent protection, and showing its (frequently overseen) limits and bounderies.
The Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit asserts that
"It is thus clear that the present statute does not allow patents to be issued on particular business systems—such as a particular type of arbitration—that depend entirely on the use of mental processes. In other words, the patent statute does not allow patents on particular systems that depend for their operation on human intelligence alone, a field of endeavor that both the framers and Congress intended to be beyond the reach of patentable subject matter. Thus, it is established that the application of human intelligence to the solution of practical problems is not in and of itself patentable". However "When an unpatentable mental process is combined with a machine, the combination may produce patentable subject matter, as the Supreme Court’s decision in Diehr and our own decisions in State Street Bank and AT&T have confirmed." But "The routine addition of modern electronics to an otherwise unpatentable invention typically creates a prima facie case of obviousness".

Class Action Complaint Against Apple concerning iPhone

Here the text of the complaint. The facts can be briefly reckoned as follows: - AT&T is the exclusive provider for iPhone cell phone service in the United States; - the duration of the exclusive agreement is to be five years; - Apple is to receive a portion of AT&T’s profit; - iPhone consumers are to be prohibited from using a cell phone carrier other than AT&T; - Apple is to be restrained for a period of time from developing a version of the iPhone for CDMA wireless networks.
As far as competition law is concerned, the facts invest the tying doctrine. In this case, the tying product is the iPhone, whereas the tied product is AT&T's cell phone service.One of the central questions would be: Has Apple sufficient economic power in the tying market to coerce the purchase of the tied product?