Linked by Christian Schaller on Tue 19th Apr 2005 18:26 UTC
Legal We today face the risk of software patents being approved in the EU because not enough parliamentary members will be showing up to vote. Due to this it is important for those of us who oppose software patents to make sure EU parliament members see the damage software patents cause, so they realize it is important to be there to vote providing the needed absolute majority. But sending out a clear message is also important for the process of patent reform in the US and other places who have fallen into the trap of introducing them.
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by m_abs on Tue 19th Apr 2005 19:18 UTC

First please don't use the term intellectual property (IP), it was only invented to confuse people, if you want to discuss softwarepatents use the term softwarepatents, if you want to discuss copyright use that term etc...

It is a misconception that without patents on software companies have no protection of their products, but this is not true, there is already copyright which is much better and much more fair to all parties.

There are many problems with softwarepatents (swpat), one is the it is imposible to check all 30000+ patents to see if your product violates it, thous you can violate a patent without knowing. It costs a lot of money to take out a patent, money FLOSS-developers and SMBs don't have or should/could use on developing software.
There are also the cost of defending your patent or defending your company in a patent lawsuit, again money that should have been spend on developing.
Because of the vast of money two things will IMO happen, innovation will slow down and productcost will go up.
Patents are only good for big companies like Microsoft, adobe and IBM, and their lawyors(spelling?). But a bad thing for SMBs, FLOSS-developer and consumers.

That's just some of the problems.

PS.: Reverseenginering is not a bad thing (for the consumer that is), it insures interoperation and reduces vendor lock-in.