On Fri, 21 May 2004, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> patented, software will be patented. There are 25 patent offices
> in the EU where a patent can be applied for.
And presumably EU patents are all equivalent? (i'm guessing.. EU has
many equivalence rules).
> MS and IBM are paying multi-[bm]illion dollar legal teams to write these
> patent applications and to argue their court cases.
This and the general backing of big business for software patents,
along with fact that USA has them, generally leads me to think the
battle is a no-hoper.
I think the real battle to fight for is tougher examination of patent
claims. Patents are supposed to be granted only for processes and
ideas which are would not be obvious to someone skilled in the field.
The number one problem with patents is the low standard of
examination. If that were fixed many of the evils of patents would be
mitigated, especially for software patents - obviousness seems to be
worst aspect to them.
A secondary battle that could be fought, but a far weaker one, is
interoperability. Eg, that data formats, of themselves should not be
patentable. However, one problem is that form often follows function,
so for a truly new idea that involves a format, it often will not be
possible to implement something to use the format without violating
the patent on function. (eg imagine some clever file system, the
cleverness may be reflected in the fs format, eg see WAFL).
The most pragmatic battle to fight is to raise the bar for patent
claims to be granted, imho.
(i dont agree with software patents, but hey.)
Paul Jakma paul at clubi.iepaul at jakma.org Key ID: 64A2FF6A
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