"The idea here is the usual ratchet approach beloved of the copyright crowd: for the sake of “harmonisation”, every country will be forced to accept the national regime that is most favourable to software patents. The reason Europe absolutely must have harmonised patent rules is explained in a new report from the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). According to its Web site: “ACT is the only organization focused on the needs of small business innovators from around the world. We advocate for an environment that inspires and rewards innovation, and help our members leverage their intellectual assets to raise capital, create jobs and continue innovating.” Those with good memories and a fine ear will note the harping on the “innovation” note, one of Microsoft's favourite tunes (making it obey the laws would be bad for “innovation”, seemed to be one of its favourite laments). And what do we find, but that among the “small business innovators” that are members of the ACT, there is Microsoft – that well-known teensy-weeny business."