[Fsfe-ie] Reply from Brian Crowley

Malcolm Tyrrell malcohol at eircom.net
Fri Feb 11 11:09:18 CET 2005

> He did say that he could try and get us extra contact or even a meetings
> with the relevant minister(s) if that would help us get our message
> across.

This may be very useful. We'd have to get the timing and the people right, 

> * From a free trade point of view monopoly's and closed markets are
>   bad for global business, patents help to promote and in large
>   monopoly's and closed markets.

You have to careful with points that sound like criticisms of the patent
system in general (even if you believe them). Patents in all fields are
monopolies. In some fields they may do more good than harm (you may
or may not agree). In any case, we must argue that in software, they do
more harm than good.

> * I would also like to see some discussion on how these patents benefit
>   the common pool of knowledge after the patent expires, and if this
>   extra (?) knowledge is worthily of a 20 year monopoly.

This point is rarely touched on. Can anyone think of an example of software
innovation that would not have been reinvented within 20 years? RSA (the
encryption algorithm) is often cited as a good example of a software
patent, but it is now known that boffins in the UK had the idea four
years *early* than the people who patented it.



Sign up for eircom broadband now and get a free two month trial.*
Phone 1850 73 00 73 or visit http://home.eircom.net/broadbandoffer

More information about the FSFE-IE mailing list