[A2k] rms in wired and european unitary patent

"Gérald Sédrati-Dinet (Gibus)" gibus at april.org
Tue Nov 6 14:19:34 PST 2012


I guess most of you have already read the proposition published last
week by Richard Stallman in Wired:

<http://www.wired.com/opinion/2012/11/richard-stallman-software-patents/>

In short, since exclusion of software from patentability has not been
enacted by US legislation for decades now, RMS proposes to get rid of
most harms done by software patents with an exception to patentees'
rights for "developing, distributing, or running a program on generally
used computing hardware".

To be clear, this is not a shift from the fight against software
patentability, but an additional solution that could be more easy to get
passed. Moreover this solution has the advantages of protecting software
developers and users from already granted software patents; and to not
be permeable to clever (mis-)interpretation from patent offices and lawyers.

I had chance to discuss with RMS about this, because it is really
interesting in our current fight on the EU Unitary Patent. We have
already proposed an amendment to exclude software from patentability.
But I think this one will be very hard to get passed. Greens are
supporting it but other groups are likely to not want to change anything
with regards to patentability in this regulation. The best we can have
is that rules used by the EPO to grant patents, including the exclusion
of computer programs "as such" will be included in EU Law, and therefore
will be ultimately interpreted by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
That's already a good point. And actually, I'm now sure that either the
whole proposal will fail, or patentability will be under review by ECJ.
Legally, it can be otherwise, EU cannot create a new patent which would
escape ECJ. All academics have confirmed this.

But we can go further with RMS' proposition of exception. The proposed
regulation on the unitary patent has already an article defining
exceptions to patentees' rights. Therefore I've drafted an amendment to
this article:

"[The rights conferred by the European patent with unitary effect shall
not extend to any of the following: ...]

- the acts of developing, distributing or using a computer program
intended to run on a general-purpose computer;"

Thanks to comment this amendment
(<https://www.unitary-patent.eu/node/5?comment_id_key=lbmuRzWAq8b>) and
to help passing it. You can contact Members of the European Parliament
on <http://call.unitary-patent.eu/campaign/go/unitary-patent-juri-2012>
and make your enterprise sign this resolution
<https://www.unitary-patent.eu/content/against-software-patents-companies-demand-improvement-unitary-patent-europe>.

-- 
Gérald Sédrati-Dinet
http://www.unitary-patent.eu/      http://www.april.org/
http://www.brevet-unitaire.eu/     http://laquadrature.net/




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