Bonum Certa Men Certa

New Papers Explain the Harms of Software Patents

Hand idea



Summary: Critics of the misguided scope of patents point to scholarly work that arguably supports the abolishment of software patents; Pirate Party UK promises to abolish software patents

THE previous post concentrated on New Zealand's imminent exclusion of software patents (unless there is a reversal due to lobbying from monopolies and patent lawyers). Brad Feld, who works at a small company, writes about "The Typical Kinds of Software Patent Plaintiffs" and later presents this pointer to a paper which he believes proves that software patents have no beneficial role in society.



I expect this to be a key paper cited in the ongoing debate about software patents (and patents in general). Anyone in the software industry will quickly understand this paper and the massive shift we’ve seen from a “producer innovation model” to a “open single user and open collaborative initiative model” of innovation.


Glyn Moody, who is another staunch critic of software patents, writes about the film which we posted about yesterday. As he puts it:

Fortunately, there is a growing body of evidence that patents in general are based on a false premise: that giving someone a monopoly on an invention increases the overall innovation, and hence benefit to society.


Here is a relevant paper Moody links to [via] and here is a reminder of the fact that the British Pirate Party (Moody is based in the UK) is still very stubborn regarding abolition of software patents.

Pirate Party UK: sees the abolition of software patents as a way of spurring rapid change in the development industry; sees "overly-broad" hardware patents as disincentives to effective competition.


The president of the FFII says that there are still some problems with the policies of the Pirate Party.

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