An emailed statement from them said: 'Software patents stifle innovation, unfairly favour big business, and curtail the rights and freedoms of individual computer programmers. Software patents can be used a tool to restrict freedom of ideas and freedom of expression. As a strong supporter of civil liberties and freedom of speech, this party could never support the introduction of such measures.'
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Lib Dem replyLiberal Democrat IT Spokesman Richard Allan said
"We have been actively working on this issue in the Lib Dems. There is a major flaw in the UKIP position. They oppose the Directive because it comes from the EU. However, if there were no EU and therefore no Directive as UKIP want then this does not necessarily mean the issue of software patents will go away.
"We would instead be left with national Patent Offices in each member state deciding their policy, no doubt under pressure from large US interests to follow the US route and allow wide patentability for software.
"Given the recent record of UK-US relations and the position of the UK Govt and Patent Office in supporting the current EU Directive I would not have any confidence that an 'independent' UK decision on this would be better than a collective EU one. We might rather find our Government signing up to a more US-like model without the collective will of all EU states to resist this."