[Fsfe-ie] "Economist" opinion on patent systems

Aidan Delaney adelaney at cs.may.ie
Thu Nov 11 22:41:05 CET 2004

On Thu, 2004-11-11 at 21:18 +0000, Teresa Hackett wrote:
> Useful piece in the Economist on patents, mentions European software
> patents.
> http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3376181
Apart from the fact that patents generally suck, many articles on
European patents miss a very important point.  In the US (if you've
enough money) it is possible to overturn a patent if you can prove you
invented something before the patent holder.  This principal of "prior
art" does not hold in the EU.
	So if a free software developer or SME were to develop a new thing and
big coloured company were to patent it, there is no comeback.  In short
there is no way in which Free Software developers or SMEs win  if
patents are introduced in Europe.  Unfortunatly, I still don't see how
we can convince the parliament of this.
Aidan Delaney   email: adelaney at cs.may.ie
                web:   http://www.cs.may.ie/~adelaney
                gpg:   http://www.cs.may.ie/~adelaney/public_key.asc
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