decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


To read comments to this article, go here
Irish Linux Groups Write Their MEPs About SW Patents
Wednesday, March 16 2005 @ 11:46 AM EST

The Irish Free Software Organisation, the Irish Linux Users' Group and KDE (Ireland) have sent a briefing document on software patents to Ireland's MEPs.

Following that thread, I came across a list posted earlier on ISFO's web site, 10 Reasons Why Software Ideas Must Remain Free From Patentability. I thought it would be helpful to share them with you, particularly with those attending the UK workshops, and I wanted to ask if those of you who are either lawyers, patent searchers or programmers could please explain number 7 in more detail? I'd like to understand that point better:

7. Software is abstract, like math. Software ideas can be described in any number of ways, so searches for software patents would be hit-and-miss. Reliably avoiding patent infringement would be impossible.

Number 9 is compelling, as well. Here's the entire list.

***************************

1. There are currently no costs, waiting periods, or application forms required for software development. Patentability would radically change this and would invalidate many development and business models.

2. Software already has "ownership rights" via the copyright system. Copyright is instant, costs nothing, and doesn't interfere with independent development.

3. If companies could purchase exclusive rights to the use of techniques required by their defacto standards, they could choose their competitors. "Competition" would become an inside joke, and preventing competition would be completely legal and above board.

4. Small and medium enterprises can't afford patents, they can't spare time for patent searches and they can't risk the cost of contesting an accusation in court.

5. The patent term (20 years) is absurdly long in terms of the software industry.

6. Innovation in software is incrimental, new ideas build on the old. To advance the state of the art, developers must be permitted to build on top of the state of the art.

7. Software is abstract, like math. Software ideas can be described in any number of ways, so searches for software patents would be hit-and-miss. Reliably avoiding patent infringement would be impossible.

8. Engineering, manufacturing, and pharmacutical patents are industrial regulations. Software idea patents would place restrictions on what all businesses and all individual computer owners can do with their computer.

9. In the USA, to get around the burden of software idea patents, the Big Players of the software industry have formed cartel-like patent sharing agreements. Small and medium enterprises cannot afford to join these agreements, and NONE of the Big Players are European companies.

10. For Europe to develop it's own software industry, we must retain the right to write our own software - without having to ask permission or pay royalties to current (foreign) market leaders.


  View Printable Version


Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )