Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Feb 2007 16:29 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Legal The UK Government has responded to a petition regarding software patents: "The Government remains committed to its policy that no patents should exist for inventions which make advances lying solely in the field of software. Although certain jurisdictions, such as the US, allow more liberal patenting of software-based inventions, these patents cannot be enforced in the UK."
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Great news !
by Luis on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:05 UTC
Luis
Member since:
2006-04-28

This is really good news. Let's hope that the USA will follow this policy regarding patents and that we can end up with all the patent threats that some are using.

Reply Score: 2

good news everyone.....
by raver31 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:05 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

YAY !!!!!!!

Now, if only the US can see the flaws of their ways...

Reply Score: 4

A sane decision by a government?
by DevL on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:19 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is it the first day of the lovely month of April already?

Reply Score: 5

RE: A sane decision by a government?
by ma_d on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:51 UTC in reply to "A sane decision by a government?"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

By the UK no less... I suppose they're just that conservative?

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

By the UK no less... I suppose they're just that conservative?

It's odd to see the words "sane" and "conservative" in the same thread. Even the so-called "Conservatives" in Britain, Fascist as they are, are pretty liberal by US "conservative" standards.

Reply Score: 0

"liberal patenting"
by drynwhyl on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:41 UTC
drynwhyl
Member since:
2006-05-14

"Liberal patenting" sounds like "humane killing", "windows security", "victimless crime", "arbeit macht frei", and so on.

Reply Score: 1

RE: "liberal patenting"
by kaiwai on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:30 UTC in reply to ""liberal patenting""
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Geeze, learn the definition of Liberal; a cruder terminology used could have been 'a cavalier approach to issuing patents on privilious claims of intellectual property'.

In the case of the quotation it means free and wild handing out of patents with little strings attached.

Why do Americans find the need to pollute words like Liberal and turn it into left wing, or simple fail to process a basic sentence structure.

Reply Score: 5

great!
by SK8T on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:54 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

I HATE software patents.

I hope the other countries in the EU will do the same. NO SOFTWARE PATENTS.

Sofware patents are only good for the companys, but not good for the users.

Reply Score: 1

RE: great!
by beowuff on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:26 UTC in reply to "great!"
beowuff Member since:
2006-07-26

Sofware patents are only good for the companys, but not good for the users.

Even then, they're NOT good for MOST companies... Only the first ones to the patent office...

Reply Score: 2

I do love this petition business.
by Michael on Tue 27th Feb 2007 17:54 UTC
Michael
Member since:
2005-07-01

The government haven't changed a single policy on the basis of any petition. Give 'em their due though - they've tossed us a juicy bone and I'm not complaining. Now, about these ID cards...

Reply Score: 2

v Europe hates computers
by Almafeta on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:06 UTC
RE: Europe hates computers
by TechGeek on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:26 UTC in reply to "Europe hates computers"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

There are protestctions. Its called copyright. And since the entire Windowing gui idea was stolen in the first place, why the hell should anyone else be able to patent anything based on it. Design a new paradigm and I might change my mind. Also realize that any API you use was pre-conceived and therefore shouldnt be elgible for a patent anyway.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Europe hates computers
by raver31 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:26 UTC in reply to "Europe hates computers"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

At least if they jump in the pond in the UK, they can swim out again, as they now do not have both hands tied behind their backs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Europe hates computers
by aaronb on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:29 UTC in reply to "Europe hates computers"
aaronb Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess some people create code because they like doing it and other write programs to earn a living.

They can still copyright applications and licence it, you can't stop people from using the general ideas.

Europe does not hate computes, Its probably dislikes the "I'll sue you for all you got" culture.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Europe hates computers
by Michael on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:34 UTC in reply to "Europe hates computers"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

Seriously now people, you can't mod someone down, just because you disagree with them. It says so quite clearly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Europe hates computers
by kaiwai on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Europe hates computers"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

They get modded down because of in-coherient blather with no point - akin to spamming a forum with diatribe.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Europe hates computers
by Michael on Tue 27th Feb 2007 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Europe hates computers"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

They get modded down because of in-coherient blather with no point

Come off it. The parent topic was perfectly coherent and had a very clear point - one which most people (myself included) disagree with. That is completely different from spam, in that it lacks information detailing a good source of cheap viagra.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Europe hates computers
by janedoe on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:47 UTC in reply to "Europe hates computers"
janedoe Member since:
2005-07-12

Can you give a source for that? Oh and copyright is more than adequate protection for software creations.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Europe hates computers
by Windows Sucks on Tue 27th Feb 2007 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Europe hates computers"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Copyright is the way is should be! I hate companies that patent ideas that never even happen! Or patent things like 1 click shoping?? I can see having a patent on the code and function. But if someone comes up with totally seperate code and function, just because it happens in one click you should not be able to sue.

Just like netflix claims to have a patent on being able to rent movies over the internet??? They actually claim to have a patent on the idea of getting on a web site and ordering a DVD and having it sent to you as a rental. LOL! Come on.

Reply Score: 4

An introduction to the Constitution
by Almafeta on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Europe hates computers"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Not quite. Copyrights protect creative works, while patents protect technical works. Copyrights generally last for a 75-year period and can theoretically be extended indefinately, while patents give exclusive rights to the creator for (usually) a 20-year period and release them into the public domain afterwards.

Just because our field is relatively new doesn't make it any less deserving of protection than fields such as medicine. If you "[invent or discover a] new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof," (in the words of our copyright law), you have the right to be able to protect yourself and profit from your innovation for a reasonable period of time. It doesn't matter if your process is an algorithm, a chemical process, or formula for a new drug; it falls under patent law.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Not quite. Copyright protect all works. A technical solution is no less protected by copyright law than a book is. Besides that, it can be argued whether a mathematical solution is a technical or a creative solution - or both.

You are making the mistake of applying US-law on Danish jurisdiction. Danish patent law differs from US patent law. Danish copyright law differs from US copyright law.

Besides that - Patent Law and Copyright Law has nothing to do with being able to protect your self. Patent Law and Copyright Law is about your interests being protected by the authorities, rather than protecting them yourself. Patents are Government granted monopoliies and as such do not belong in a capitalist system ;)

Add to this that the ethics behing Patents are seriously flawed.

Nobody prevents you from utilizing your ideas - no matter how much they utilize your idea. However, a patent prevents other persons from utilizing their own ideas. Basically Patents are an (ethical) illegal intrusion on other persons domains.

Reply Score: 5

Dogmeat Member since:
2006-10-13

"Not quite. Copyrights protect creative works, while patents protect technical works. Copyrights generally last for a 75-year period and can theoretically be extended indefinately, while patents give exclusive rights to the creator for (usually) a 20-year period and release them into the public domain afterwards."

This is incorrect. Patents protect "ideas" whilst copyright protects actual implementations of ideas. Copyright can be applied to all kinds of media, including literary and art works as well as computer source code. I believe even machine code is copyrightable.

Source code for applications is copyrightable (in the UK at least) which is why software patents are so unnecesary. It means that people are still free to reimplement others ideas, but if they use any of the original source, then they are infringing copyright and so can be prosecuted.

Patents mean that you cannot reimplement someone else's ideas even if you don't look at their source code, which to me is just plain crazy.

Reply Score: 2

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Neither copyrights nor patents exist because creators "deserve it". The US Constitution operates from the premise that there is no such natural right for a creator's work to be protected, and creates such a protection, not because creators deserve it, but as an incentive for creation and the eventual contribution of those creations to the public domain.

Thus, in determining whether something should be patentable, the criterion is not whether the creators "deserve" protection, but whether allowing patents on a type of work better serves the public good than not doing so. One can make a strong argument for the fact that software is a field that, at least right now, is in no need of incentives. Amazon would very likely still have create 1-click shopping even if they weren't eligible for patent protection, because they would still make a lot of money off the idea.

There is also the issue of the unique nature of software. Merck patenting a drug is one thing --- it is unlikely that some chemist in his basement is going to, in his spare time, independently discover the same drug. That's because drug development is anything but a rigorously logical process, and depends very heavily on expensive trial and error. Software is completely different. An algorithm is much closer to a physics theory than it is to a drug formula. Both can be derived from the basic principles of the field, and it is not at all unlikely for knowledgeable people in the field to independently arrive at the same algorithm. In fact, it's expected, given that they are following the same logical process using the same logical rules! Thus, for the same reason mathematical constructions cannot be patented, computer algorithms should not be patentable.

Edited 2007-02-28 21:42

Reply Score: 4

friends :)
by mmu_man on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:11 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

I wish the french gov would be as explicit.
They always say they care about the question but never really opposed the commission on the question :-(

Reply Score: 1

Go UK!
by hackus on Tue 27th Feb 2007 18:44 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

Wooooot!

Love those Brits!

Go Go Go.

:-)

So, being a USA citizen, what are your immigration policies?

:-)

How much for an apartment with a good view of Big Ben?

-gc

Reply Score: 3

RE: Go UK!
by Havin_it on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:46 UTC in reply to "Go UK!"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

North London? On average about $300,000-350,000 I'd reckon.

Still keen? ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Go UK!
by Kroc on Tue 27th Feb 2007 21:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Go UK!"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And the rest! The average house price in the UK is 230'000 ($452000). For a good view of Big Ben, you could expect to pay 320'000 ($628'000) or more!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Go UK!
by tristan on Wed 28th Feb 2007 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Go UK!"
tristan Member since:
2006-02-01

And the rest! The average house price in the UK is 230'000 ($452000). For a good view of Big Ben, you could expect to pay 320'000 ($628'000) or more!

More, more more. The average price for a property in London is 322,104 -- which takes into account that more properties in London are flats (or "apartments" for our American cousins). The average price of a detached house in London is a whopping 628,139 (roughly $1.2 million).

And those are just average London prices. If you want a place from which you can see Big Ben -- when means right in the centre -- I would expect prices to be somewhere in the region of double that.

And you thought Manhattan was expensive!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Go UK!
by Havin_it on Wed 28th Feb 2007 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Go UK!"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

My bad -- I was guestimating based on Edinburgh prices (which aren't much less). Got my -$ rate a bit arseways too, as the GF has just informed me.

Reply Score: 0

Sweet!
by Aaron1 on Tue 27th Feb 2007 19:44 UTC
Aaron1
Member since:
2006-01-19

Good for them! Software patents have gotten out of control.

Reply Score: 1

Personally...
by fretinator on Tue 27th Feb 2007 20:19 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I waiting for President Ballmer's official response.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Personally...
by dylansmrjones on Tue 27th Feb 2007 21:13 UTC in reply to "Personally..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Patents patents patents!

*Sound of chairs flying through the room, crashing with a loud bang against the walls*

Reply Score: 5

RE: Personally...
by elsewhere on Tue 27th Feb 2007 22:02 UTC in reply to "Personally..."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I waiting for President Ballmer's official response.

He's a little busy right now trying to convince the Supreme Court that US patent protection shouldn't extend to software products sold and installed overseas outside of US jurisdiction. Seems AT&T feels otherwise.

Savor the irony, because it bookends this article nicely. A ruling in AT&T's favor could have a devastating effect on the US software industry and force companies to relocate, otherwise they run the risk of patent infringement liability on products they sell in overseas jurisdictions that don't even enforce software patents. A ruling in Microsoft's favor could ultimately lead to the unraveling of many software patent suits, and force the reformation of US patent law, since Microsoft's defense is ultimately that software is a component and not a finished product.

The concept of software patents as they exist today in the US is facing an inevitable death, it's just a question of how lingering that death will be and how much damage will be done to IT companies in the meantime.

Edited 2007-02-27 22:03

Reply Score: 4

Still on the fence
by TheBadger on Wed 28th Feb 2007 00:37 UTC
TheBadger
Member since:
2005-11-14

In fact, the response really just confirms that the door is still open to the dubious practice of claiming that an "invention" has some "technical" aspect alongside the software that the "inventor" is trying to protect using patents, and that the whole package merits a patent. The "inventor" then goes after anyone writing software that does anything similar. Alleged supporters of this kind of thing apparently include Nokia and Philips.

The only thing preventing insanity on the patent front in the UK is a bunch of judges and the courts. That's not the usual combination of "insanity" and "judges" one reads about, but I suppose one branch of executive power has to function properly in a democracy.

Reply Score: 1