EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.10.13

The Patent Lawyers in the EU and NZ Must Not Decide on Patent Policy Including Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two lawyers

Summary: Two of the primary battlegrounds defining the future of software patents are infiltrated by special interests, representing less than 1% of the population

The EPO and the EU Patent are two of the forces which strive to expand the scope of patents to software, even in Europe. Lobbying from multinationals such as Microsoft contributed to that. A few days ago we saw a law firm trying to tilt the debate while patent lawyers framed the issue as trying to “limit” software patents (which are already sort of banned). See the article “German proposal to limit software patenting”. They want to reinforce a ban, not to limit software patents [1, 2, 3]. The author somehow ties Open Source into it when he concludes with: “Reform recommendation 3 is vague. As mentioned above, open source is often attractive but may not always provide the best solution – either in terms of guaranteeing long term investment in research and technical innovation, or in terms of meeting current commercial needs. The patent system provides important incentives for research and investment, and great care is needed before creating exceptions that will bypass long-established and effective laws and change the commercial landscape.”

Research does not require patents. That’s a myth. Investment does not necessitate monopolies, either. Academia is a good example of that. Over in New Zealand there is a similar war being waged by patent lawyers against the rest of the population. This new analysis we found says:

Last month, the IT sector in New Zealand celebrated the passing of a bill that removes the patentability of software, perceived to be a major barrier to software-led innovation, from the Patents Bill.

In fact, many countries around the world either already forbid software from being patented, or are in the process of doing so. But, isn’t a patent supposed to help innovation, so why would any government forbid software from being patented in their country?

A patent gives an inventor the monopoly on the use of their idea for an extended period of time. In return, the inventor has to disclose the secret behind the invention to the public. The system is designed to induce the sharing of idea and knowledge, something which would have been kept secret if there were no such system in place.

The designers of the patent system believed that the sharing of knowledge behind inventions would lead to more invention, which would in turn lead to general benefits to society.

No, this is not the case. In the age of the Internet dissemination of ideas — especially software ideas — is very simple and it is rewarded in various ways. Throwing in the word “innovation” is pointless as it’s mostly a marketing term. Society does not benefit from monopolies but from a maximal sharing if knowledge, which speeds up what the author can call “innovation”. The author, Jay Jootar, is a management guy, not an engineer. It’s not surprising to see the debate starting like this, but like many VCs he recognises that patents mostly benefit the large multinationals (of which New Zealand has almost none that’s domestic). To quote his final words:

Big companies accumulate patents, not to use them for innovation, but to protect themselves in patent disputes by counter-suing the other parties. A case in point is Google’s acquisition of Motorola and its patents to protect itself from lawsuits by Apple and Microsoft, among others.

The software patent obviously has no benefit whatsoever for society, innovation and tech start-ups.

What about Thailand? Luckily, we are among the countries that do not allow software patents, except for special circumstances. This is one of a few things we have done right. Hopefully, no one is clueless enough to change that.

The fear here is that lawyers at various levels are hijacking the debate about software patents, striving to make those expand outwards from the United States. Developers and ordinary people who buy electronics need to intervene more.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/12/2014: China and Linux, GNOME Shell 3.15.3

    Links for the day



  2. The New Age of Games for UNIX/Linux But Not for Windows, Microsoft is Openwashing Windows-Only Games

    The world is moving to GNU- and Linux-powered platforms, so Microsoft withdraws GNU/Linux support from games it buys and starts openwashing its Windows-only games



  3. Microsoft Essentially Sends Malware to Windows and Bricks It

    Microsoft is once again bricking Vista 7, demonstrating lack of reliability or very low quality programming



  4. Microsoft Lays Off Staff, Cheapens Labour as More Companies Are Dumping Microsoft's Lock-in, NSA-Friendly Services, and Windows

    A look at some of Microsoft's latest woes, including an appeal for cheaper labour amid decrease in business



  5. Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving

    Links for the day



  6. Another Microsoft Partner Markets Linux FUD Using Logo, Name, and Lies

    Microsoft's partner Alert Logic is trying to label a feature of Linux a security flaw and even makes marketing buzz for it



  7. Redmonk is Spreading Black Duck's Anti-GPL Talking Points After Payments From Black Duck, Microsoft

    CBS' ZDNet spreads the GNU-hostile narrative which comes from Redmonk, funded by Microsoft and Black Duck, citing Black Duck, which also comes from Microsoft and is a partner of Microsoft



  8. 'Good' Software Patents From EA Show Cases Where DRM is a Patent Infringement

    Where two evils collide the public benefits, or how some software patents discourage the use of DRM



  9. Richard Stallman: What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?

    New article from Richard Stallman



  10. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  11. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  12. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  13. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  14. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  15. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  17. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  18. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  19. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  20. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  21. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  22. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  23. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  24. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  25. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  26. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  27. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  28. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  29. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  30. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts