[Fsfe-ie] UK gov intervenes to support software patents

Malcolm Tyrrell tyrrelmr at cs.tcd.ie
Sat Sep 13 11:07:30 CEST 2003


I received a letter from Pat Cox MEP who seems pro-directive in the
sense that he believes (or has been told) that it will reduce ambiguity
in the current law and increase harmonization.

> Met with Brian Crowley today and he gave me an interesting document 
> from the "IP Awareness Group" who turn out to be the enemy.


I know it's getting really boring now but perhaps one more letter to the
MEPs would be worthwhile. We really need to respond to the issues
McCarthy raises.

Some points to make this time:
* Everyone (including McCarthy) claims they don't want "pure" software
  to become patentable.
* The weaknesses and ambuities in the directive will lead to the patenting
  of "pure" software 
  - the FFII have plenty of examples
  - what about the examples that have been provided by the pro- lobby as
    things that will not be patentable? Is there really any part of the
    directive that excludes them?
* European software "innovators" will not be at a disadvantage if
  software is unpatentable:
  - American and Japanese companies will not be able to patent software
    in Europe either
  - European companies can still patent software in America & Japan
    (indeed, they will have to for defensive reasons).
  - All software developed in Europe will benefit from fewer legal
    issues and that software will mostly be developed by European
* European software "innovators" will be at a disadvantage if
  software becomes patentable:
  - patenting software works against competition and can prevent
  - it favours existing monopoly holders and existing large companies.
  - as few European companies currently hold these monopolies, it will 
    be to their disadvantage

Any opinions? I just threw this list together.


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