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 raboof on Wed 20th Apr 2005 10:53 UTC

The story is that we are a Linux company have a new partner. We taught them a lot of stuff about our business and they went and started negotiations with another Linux company (our direct competitor). This a completely disgusting thing to do, but that's business.

We're obviously afraid that if they knew how our software worked they would just copy it and use our ideas for all their other partners. My boss thinks we should patent our software and sue them if they copy it.

First of all, your inventions must be really novel (not yet `state of the art') to be patentable.

Even if they are, though, in Europe, unfortunately, patents won't help you here. You should have made proper Non-Disclosure Agreements before discussing these things. Since you appearantly didn't do that, by talking about it, you made the information part of the `state of the art'. In order to apply for a patent, the thing you want to patent must not be part of the `state of the art'.

In America, I believe there is a 1-year `grace period' in which the inventor himself is free to publish the invention without damaging his ability to apply for a patent. I'm not into American patent law though, so I can't really say anything more about that.