- EU - ECJ rules on compulsory copyright licensing for monopolies +/-
(RAPID) Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-418/01 IMS Health GmbH & Co. OHG v NDC Health GmbH & Co. KG. The refusal by an undertaking in a dominant position to grant a licence for a copyright only constitutes an abuse of a dominant position in certain circumstances. In order for such a refusal to be regarded as abusive it must prevent the emergence of a new product or service for which there is a potential demand, be without objective justification and be capable of eliminating all competition on the relevant market. Full text of judgment.
- EU - Court case sparks Microsoft-EU spat +/-
(Reuters) An intellectual property case at the EU's highest court sparked a fresh clash between Microsoft and the European Commission over whether the ruling would strengthen the EU executive's case. The commission, which has fined Microsoft 497 million euros, said the ruling strengthened its case, but the U.S. software giant strongly rebuked this view. The European Court of Justice set out guidelines under which a company- in a case involving the German units of NDCHealth Corp and IMS Health - could be said to be abusing a dominant position.
- US - Music industry sues 477 more computer users +/-
(AP) The recording industry sued 477 more computer users, including dozens of college students at schools in 11 states, accusing them of illegally sharing music across the Internet. The Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group for the largest labels, praised efforts by colleges and universities to use technology and school policies to crack down on music piracy on their own computer networks. But it said the most egregious offenders on campus deserved to be sued.
- US - New Study Urges Patent Upgrade +/-
(Wired) The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office doesn't require a major overhaul, but it does need to take 'decisive steps' to ensure that funding shortages and outdated policies do not hinder innovation, said the National Research Council in a new report. The report cites increased competition among businesses to file and enforce patents as a key reason the patent office is swamped. Among the problems the office faces: a backlog of 500,000 patent applications and an influx of approximately 350,000 new applications a year.
- US - The Patent Busting Project +/-
(EFF) Every year numerous illegitimate patent applications make their way through the United States patent examination process without adequate review. The problem is particularly acute in the software and Internet fields where the history of prior inventions (often called "prior art") is widely distributed and poorly documented. As a result, we have seen patents asserted on such simple technologies as: one-click online shopping, the hyperlink and paying with a credit card online. EFF is launching a Patent Busting Project to take on illegitimate patents that suppress non-commercial and small business innovation or limit free expression online. The Project has two components: A. Documenting the Damage and B. Challenging The Patents. Once it has identified some of the worst offenders, EFF will begin filing challenges to each in the form of a "re-examination request" to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- EU - Europäisches West-Ost-Gefälle bei Internet-Zugängen +/-
(Heise) Mit dem Beitritt der zehn neuen Staaten zur EU (von Nord nach Süd: Estland, Lettland, Litauen, Polen, Tschechien, Slowakei, Ungarn, Slowenien, Zypern und Malta) wandert ihre Grenze rund tausend Kilometer ostwärts bis nach Russland, Weißrussland und zur Ukraine und schließt 75 Millionen zusätzliche Bürger (17 Prozent) ein. Das Bruttoinlandsprodukt der Gemeinschaft steigt dabei um etwa 417 Milliarden Euro, also um rund fünf Prozent.
- La France compte plus de 23 millions d'internautes +/-
(Reuters) Le nombre d'internautes en France a atteint en mars les 23 millions, une progression de 14% par rapport au même mois de l'an dernier, selon une étude Médiamétrie. Selon cette étude, 23.089.000 Français de plus de 11 ans se sont connectés à internet au cours du mois de mars quel que soit le lieu, soit 45% de la population française âgée de 11 ans et plus. En mars 2003, ils étaient 20.258.000, soit 39,7% de la population.
- Market share slips away from Nokia +/-
(CNET News.com) Nokia rivals are wrestling market share away from the cell phone giant, as worldwide handset sales surged in the first quarter of 2004. Major mobile handset vendors shipped 153 million units worldwide, about 40 percent more than in the same period the previous year, research firm Strategy Analytics said. Nokia accounted for 44.7 million of those shipments. The company's market share dropped to 29 percent in the first quarter from 35 percent in the same period a year ago.
- UK - Text messaging reaches new high +/-
(BBC) The British love of text shows no signs of abating as numbers sent hit record levels. According to the Mobile Data Association (MDA), 2.1 billion text messages were sent in March 2004, a 25% rise on the total from the same month last year. On average, around 69 million text messages are sent every day in the UK. Older people are also catching the bug and using text in an increasing variety of ways.
- US - 14% of Internet users say they no longer download music files +/-
(Press Release) The recording industry campaign against those who download and swap music online has made an impact on several major fronts, but the number of Americans downloading music and sharing files online has increased, according to the most recent survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.