Wednesday, March 30, 2005

EU software patent critics unite

Press Release: NoSoftware Patents has merged into Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) Through site content in 17 languages, addresses a Europe wide audience and delivers easy-to-understand information on the controversial topic.

Software industry veteran Florian Mueller created the site in 2004 with sponsorship from 1&1 (the world's largest Web host), Red Hat, and MySQL AB. quickly became known for not mincing words in its criticism ofcompanies and organizations that lobby for software patents.

FFII President Hartmut Pilch said " is by far the best introductory Web site on the subject of computing idea monopolies to date". He continued "our media team will now leverage the platform to further boost the morale of the large majority of companies and individuals whose freedom and productivity is currently under threat."

Meanwhile Florian Mueller, the founder of, pointed out that his biography on the campaign site had been stating all along that he "temporarily interrupted his own software development project" in order to campaign against software patents. He intends resuming his own project, but he said he will still occasionally participate in the fight againstsoftware patents.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

India Reverses Software Patent Rules

The Financial Express reports that since the Indian patent office has reversed its earlier ruling that embeded software could be patented. Patents issued under the old rules may be cancelled and the article points out that "Legal experts point out that software-related patents already granted could be successfully challenged in courts, given the clarification of the law in the recent amendment." The patents that were issued were largely to foreign companies including LG, Nokia, Siemens, Philips and Samsung, and were seen as harmful to the fledgling local industry. There's obvious parallels here to the effect that allowing software patents would have on the New Zealand industry. Let's hope parliment acquires a clue sometime in the near future.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

European Patent Legislation

The European Parliament appears set to introduce U.S.-style software patents, which critics have denounced as too broad and business-friendly. Software patents continue to be one of the most hotly contested legislative initiatives in Europe. On Feb. 28, the European Commission declined the European Parliament's request to restart the legislative process from scratch. A week later, the EC sent the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions Directive, or CIID, to the European Parliament for a second read, a stage heavily weighted toward passage. The directive would allow software to be patented provided that it makes a "technical contribution ... to the 'state of the art' in the technical field concerned." If the CIID passes, all EU member states will be required to pass supportive national legislation.

More ...

Wendy M. Grossman, Wired News - March 19