Glyn truly stands out from the crowd as far as patent issues are concerned [1, 2, 3. Here in the UK, patent laws and volume of lawsuits seem not to have gone as bad as they already are in the States, but there is concern that this may change if a US-style law is adopted here. Here is Glyn’s latest writeup about what he consistently calls “intellectual monopoly”, in line with Richard Stallman’s own perspective.
Many – including myself – believe that a better description of copyright and patents is to call them “intellectual monopolies”, since they are just that: state-granted monopolies that give the power to exclude others from using certain kinds of ideas.
Once you move away from the loaded “intellectual property”, you can examine objectively whether such intellectual monopolies are, in fact, beneficial for society – both in terms of those holding them, and those who must operate with them.
A few days ago we referred to the appalling news from over here in the UK where software patents received validity. Relevant parts of the press are flooded with this news at the moment. Here’s one example:
It looks like the UK is about to make the same dangerous mistake that US courts made a while back. A decision there has now stated that the Patent Office shouldn’t automatically reject patent apps on software.
The only encouraging aspect of the news is that there is still opportunity to appeal this decision, so it might not be quite so final and irreversible. The best one can do at this stage is raise this issue to make opposition more loud. █