[Fsfe-ie] story running on the register

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Fri Nov 28 16:57:19 CET 2003

Ian Clarke wrote:
> Harry Tormey wrote:
>> http://theregister.co.uk/content/4/34244.html
>>> From story :  "The purpose of patents is to encourage innovation, so
>> that you can create something, patent it, make money from it and use the
>> money for further innovation," said Karen Murray, a barrister and
>> lecturer on IT law at the National College of Ireland. "But the patents
>> are published and are available for people who would like to enhance
>> that innovation."
>> Any one have any thoughts on the tone of the story ?
> It is unfortunate that, which Karen Murray accurately explained the 
> *purpose* of patents, she did not comment on how well they achieve their 
> stated purpose in the realm of software (ie. they fail completely, and 
> actually raise the cost and risk associated with innovation).
> I wasn't aware of the $15B R&D threat, clearly a bluff.  If they were 
> happy to spend $15B without software patents before, why not now?
> Is there a rebuttal to that letter?  If so, does anyone know if it has 
> been sent to MEPs?

Hartmut has put up a commentary on the letter of the five CEOs at:

See also
and its link questioning the representativeness of EICTA, particularly 
how little it represents the interests of SMEs.

The most effective single recent counterweight on the economic front is 
probably the FTC report,

As to the audience, I think the EICTA press release was directed at 
journalists covering the Competitiveness Council meeting.

The CEOs' letter (if I remember right) was addressed to EU 
Commissioners, the ministers attending the Competitiveness Council, and 
member states' permanent ambassadors.

It's interesting that this was fed to an Irish journalist.  This may 
signal the start of a PR push in Ireland ahead of the Irish EU Presidency.

It's worth maintaining contacts with MEPs, particularly if they can find 
out anything on the political grapevine; but they are basically out of 
the direct picture now until after the Euro-elections in June next year.

The key politicians now to try to build contacts with are domestic Irish 
politicians and civil servants who will be piloting the directive during 
the Irish presidency, using of course any introductions and 
recommendations we can get from friendly MEPs.

All best,


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