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.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: @JP
by Metic on Wed 20th Apr 2005 16:35 UTC

Exactly. Good, points C.S.

JP, what's your point? The patent example that I provided:
1) had some mambo jambo (text) that might not be exactly and only about double clicking per se (because probably even USPTO wouldn't be stupid enough to accept that?) but it was about time-based etc. clicks anyway, so basically about the same thing, nothing more innovative than that.
2) It was just one example of the many that I provided. Did you read all the other ones too? Here are the links to the other patent examples once more:
http://swpat.ffii.org/patents/samples/index.en.html
http://webshop.ffii.org/
http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/q/patent_list
Now, explain to us, what was the idea when USPTO (or the European equivalent) accepted patents like those?

Basically most software patents tend to be rather vain and worthless from the point of view of research and development. The nature of software is such that it is just very difficult to find reliable and good enough base for software patents. That is why the software patent world has become such a surreal and dangereous legal mine field.

As to the EU, the democratically elected European Parliament, after consulting lots of legal and IT experts did make a very well founded proposal for acceptable software patents. But the Commission, after having been consulted by a few big IT corporations, didn't want to accept that. Oh no, they want USA style unrestricted software patents instead, because they seem to give a shit about democracy and value their rich corporate supporters behind their backs more.

So, the discussion in the EU is not so much about either having too broad software patents or no software patents at all, but about who makes and influences these kind of decisions. Is EU a democratic Union where democratically elected parliament members have the last word, and where the decision makers listen to all parties and experts? Or is the EU just a tool that corporations use to increase their power or even monopolies and to kill honest healthy economic competition?

Like someone said above, also the whole patent system as a whole might need repair. For example, farmers in the developing 3rd world countries have often opposed the western patent system because it makes it all too expernsive for them to use the same advanced patented means of farming or even individually develop similar means to improve their condition. They often see the patent system as means of the rich western companies to colonialize the poorer countries and the 3rd world companies. The same in IT.