Friday, July 13, 2007

EU Patents - the tide turns?

It looks like the people who love software idea patents are now viewing the status quo as their best bet in Europe:

Slashdot | Software Patent Debate Over in Europe For Now?

Fairly recently the fans of software idea patents were trying to revise EU statute law to include some case law which resulted from blunders made by the European Patent Office that let some software idea patents slip through. The argument then was that the law (statute + case) already supported software idea patents. This met some stiff opposition and thankfully the good guys won and the broken case law from the EPO was left flapping in the wind. Still dangerous, but not rolled into statute law.

Now the tide seems to have turned. The pro software idea patent people are now worried that if the issues are debated again the blunders of the EPO will be reversed and we will be left with statue law that clearly states that software is not patentable (i.e. back where we were several years ago). The result of their fear is a new found love for the status quo and a desire to suppress any further legislative moves.

Of course, the bad guys will be looking for any chance to start moving things back their way, so this is no time for complacency on the part of the good guys.

Software idea patents are a really bad idea. Statute law should clearly express that software can not be patented at all. EU law should be revised to make it clear that the EPO blundered in allowing even a whiff of software idea patents.

So, dear MEP, please don't let this matter drop.

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