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Wow, that sounds very successful! What party is he in?
My bet as to what'll happen with that Dail question is that there'll be a
lot of fobbing off about how it's just "harmonisation", pay no attention
to the man behind the curtain, that kind of thing.
Alternatively, another popular patent-official response is that pure
software "process" patents will still be illegal.
(Here's how they pull that off: in strict legal terms, it's arguably true,
because every EPO software patent starts off the claims with text like "a
computer-executable process, embedded in a computer-usable medium"; in
other words describing a software process *as it appears in physical form*
as bits on a hard disk or whatever.
Of course, in real-world terms, it means any software that implements that
algorithm cannot be used in the real world without infringing the patent,
because there's no way to run the algorithm without reading it first from
a computer-usable medium.
So in reality, it's a software patent. The claim that it's not, because
of the "computer-executable process, embedded in a computer-usable medium"
preamble, is a legal hack.
I'm not entirely sure if this will be the case with the current proposal;
but this sorry excuse was trotted out last year.)
Conall O'Brien writes:
> In the spirit of this thread and the software patents issue as a whole,
> I did my part by sending a mail representing myself as a concerned voter
> and emailing all 4 TDs from my area, Eamonn Gilmore, CiarÃ¡n Cufe,
> Fiona O'Malley, Mary Hanifin (who's always popular around here... ;) and
> An Tanaiste Mary Harney about this issue yesterday.
>> I mentioned how it has serious implications for students like myself in
> college and small/meduim businesses and urged them to vote against any
> such bills.
>> I wasn't really expecting a response from Mary Harney, Mary Hanifin or
> Fiona O'Malley, since I personally have no trust at all in FF or the
> PDs (why would I? They don't take no for an answer...)
>> I was pleasantly surprised today to find a response from CiarÃ¡n Cuffe
> personally informing me that he plans on asking Mary Harney what she
> thinks the implications of this proposed bill could have. He was also
> asking my opinion of how to phrase it and to explain to him in layman's
> terms how software patents can go wrong, so I gave him an example, LZW,
> gave him a few links including to wikipedia to explain it better than I
> ever could and tied it into gifs and PDFs, both of which I figured
> he would have encountered...
>> He's rephrased his question for Mary Harney after emailing me to
> "To ask the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment whether she
> proposes to allow the patenting of software implementations for
> computing, and is she aware of the difficulties that this may raise
> in the educational and other sectors, and could she make a statement
> on the matter?"
>> Now that he has a slightly better understanding of the fears of such a
> plan he thinks "It's all a bit scary, given the resources that are at
> Bill Gate's disposal!"
>> I'll post the original email I sent and all responses I get up on my
> blog or somewhere, if people are interested...
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