[Fsfe-ie] My comments on ENNs story of patents restart

Malcolm Tyrrell malcohol at eircom.net
Fri Feb 11 17:53:13 CET 2005

Why does the following point keep coming up? Do I misunderstand the issue,
or is this just plain nonsense:

From: http://www.enn.ie/news.html?code=9587188
> Indeed, the big businesses that backed the directive -- such as Philips,
> Nokia, Alcatel and Microsoft
> [...]
> also say, in somewhat ominous terms, that without patent protection, big
> companies will be less inclined to spend cash on European R&D projects,
> because the governments of Europe cannot offer any guarantees that
> commercially useful technology will be protected. In the US, those
> much-needed safeguards are in place, patent supporters note.

I presume that these big companies will obtain patents in all territories
where patents are available, regardless of where the R&D is performed.
Unless they are threatening this merely as revenge (and I would think that
there responsibility to their own shareholders precludes this), there
would be no more or less reason to do R&D in Europe whether software
is patentable there or not. Am I wrong?

Perplexed from Dublin.

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