08.28.08

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Voice Your Support for the World Day Against Software Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 2:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents protest in India

If you have a moment to spare, please visit the following page and put your name down. The world needs your support to ensure elimination of the main legal barrier to the triumph of Free software.

You want to get your software association, software company, software consultancy, software project involved in the 24 September World Day Against Software Patents and are able to speak in the name of your organisation? Please give us your contact data below. Your organisation gets the opportunity to be listed as a supporter for the announcement of the World Day Against Software Patents.

Considering the following:

  1. The issue of software patents is a global one, and several governments and patent offices around the world continue to grant software & business method patents on a daily basis; they are pushing for legal codification of the practice, such as currently in New Zealand and India, and via the misappropriation of Free Trade Agreement instruments;
  2. Previous initiatives as the Noepatents.org petition (approx. 400 000) at the EU level are outdated (notably on the issues of the central EU patent court) and not open for signatures anymore.
  3. Companies still view software patents as assets. They have yet to understand that software patents should also be considered liabilities, especially if they are in the hands of trolls.
  4. Time is on our side as litigation gets spread wide: Markets learn the hard way that you may not leave reform to patent professionals. Patent litigation is becoming wide spread in key markets such as the financial sector, and will be more wide spread in the software sector in the forthcoming years due to the number of applications pending;
  5. The United States lacks a coalition of business and civil society against software patents
  • The lobby gap makes Congress and Senate, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and the Supreme Court susceptible to lobbying from patent industries, holders and patent professionals. American software creators have been intimidated by the patent establishment and have failed to make themselves heard.
  • Companies affected by software patent litigation have been lobbying for reform, but their advocacy for “quality” and “lower damages” aims at symptoms rather than the roots of the problem.

For these reasons,

We declare the 24 September as the World Day Against Software Patents, in commemoration of the European Parliament First Reading in 2003 with amendments stopping the harmful patenting of software, guaranteeing that software programmers and businesses can safely benefit from the fruits of their work under copyright law.

A Global Petition will be launched which asks to stop software patents, with some localised versions of the petition for specific regions, such as New Zealand, India, United States and Europe. The public will be invited to comment on the draft between the 1st and the 23rd September.

You can vote for it in Slashdot to help promote the cause.

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