[Fsfe-ie] letter to entemp

Fergal Daly fergal at esatclear.ie
Mon May 10 15:41:59 CEST 2004

I sent the letter below to ipu at entemp.ie, I not sure what I should expect as
a response. It's my assumption that no such documents exist. I was thinking
of potentially following up with an FOI request. If that turned up nothing
then it would give us some ammo in terms of publicity - ie here's the dept
pushing for software patents even though they haven't actually thought about
what will happen if they come in.

I'm not sure if attempting to embarass the dept/minister is a road we want
to go down but I think the request might be worth it, even if we don't make
a big hoo hah of the results. Maybe they do have analysis documents, in
which case we could try to engage a bit more constructively,



I'm looking into the new EU directive on patents and I'm concerned about the
software patents aspect of it. I was hoping if you could send me any
documents, papers etc which analyse or describe what impact the EU directive
will have on the software industry in Europe. In particular I'm interested
in the impact on small companies and independent software contractors and
how it is expected that they will cope with the extra burden of ensuring
that their work does not infringe on any patents and also how they will deal
with defending against spurious claims of infringement. By spurious claims, I
do not only mean cases where the patent is not valid or should not have been
granted, I also include the case where someone would have to go through   
lengthy and expensive proceedings to prove that a particular patent does not
cover the techniques they have used.

I would also be interested to know what sort of standards you envision being 
applied in terms of novelty, originality and inventiveness. I'm sure you are
aware that in the US there have been serious problems with the standards
applied and proponents of software patents have said that much higher
standards will apply in Europe. Do you have (or know of) any documents that
describe these standards and how they would be enforced. Could you perhaps
give me examples of software patents granted in the USA that will not be
granted in the proposed European system. Could you also supply examples of
software patents granted in the US which would also be granted in the EU.

Thank you for your time, please feel free to contact me by email or by phone
if you need to clarify anything,

Fergal Daly.

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