FSFE: FSFE submission to European Patent Office
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Started by: zoobabzoobab
Date: 18 May 2009 11:09
Number of posts: 1
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Summary:
Patents on software provide obstacles to knowledge-based industries by making computers less secure, less reliable and by preventing competition on a basic level. Lack of competition and uncalculable legal risks raise the cost of ICT and cost jobs across the entire industry, for which the enablement through software is a major innovation driver, as highlighted in the UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2007-2008. The grant of a software patent is not on the individual computer program, but its underlying idea, while the source code is protected by copyright. The result is a case where a stacking of exclusive rights results in overregulation, incurring an anti-innovative effect on software that Microsoft chairman Bill Gates described in an internal memo in the early 90s as: "If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today."
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