Friday, February 25, 2011

Glyn Moody Submission to UK Independent Review

In his Open Enterprise blog Glyn Moody has provided a late draft of his submission to the UK Independent Review of "IP" and Growth. Hecovers both software patents and digital copyright in his submission. The following is purely related to his points on Software patents. His submission includes:
"There are two central problems with software patents. First, software is essentially a series of algorithms - sets of computer operations; algorithms are purely mathematical techniques; which means that software patents are patents on mathematics - that is, pure knowledge. Attempts to frame software patents are being “applications” of this knowledge “in the real world” have failed dismally to draw any convincing dividing line between knowledge and its application, or between the “real world” and the digital one that exists inside computers. "The other problem is that software patents are often granted on key ideas that cannot be coded around. This creates a kind of choke hold on knowledge. The situation has got so bad that programmers no longer investigate whether their code infringes on software patents, since it is almost inevitable that it does - so many broad and trivial patents have now been granted around the world. Moreover, in the US penalties for infringement are trebled if there is “knowing” infringement, which leads to the ridiculous situation that it is better not to try to find out whether you are infringing."
His submission continues in a similar vein and concludes "to promote the UK computer industry, and encourage innovation here, software patents of all kinds should be eliminated"

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