posted Aug 08, 2001

Slashdot | EU & US Patent "Syncing"
From Slashdot:

Christian Treczoks writes 'Software patents are threatening Europe, too. The EC said 'we want software patents to harmonize with the US', but the public - private persons and small to medium businesses - objected. So they made an 'Analysis' of the replies. Effectively, 91% are against patenting software, but, as the majority of the proponents are important business figures, it's a draw.'

One of the principles I think the legal system has lost track of is that the powerful, virtually by definition, do not need protection. Obviously, you can't take that as %100 gospel, but the powerful can fend for themselves. Microsoft doesn't need patents. Meganational corporations don't need patents. It's only the little guy... and in this arena "little guy" include the majority of software companies who make, say, less then $100 million and could never afford to go to bat against, say, Sun... who needs protection, and that's the last thing the system provides to them. Sure, it's supposed to, but I don't see a lot of little-guy protection and I sure do see a lot of big-guy attacking.

The fact that the "little people", in the vast majority, are screaming about software patents and the entrenched interests love the idea to pieces is itself another argument in favor of not patenting software. Innovation is not encouraged when big companies hold all the cards and can pick and choose who succeeds, and when.



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