[Fsfe-ie] letter to entemp

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Mon May 10 20:21:29 CEST 2004

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Fergal Daly writes:
> 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,

IMO, I think it's a great idea.

Joe McCarthy and ICTE had some of their greatest success on foot of
the results from FOI requests.  It was expensive though. :(

If you need money to pay for these reqs, I'd be happy to help out,
and hopefully some other fsfe-ie'ers would too ;)

- --j.

> F
> Hi,
> 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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