Killing EU innovation with a unitary "more patents!" court

Erik Josefsson, ex ffii,
with a telling T-shirt, photo by
Benjamin Henrion
Patent folks repeat that unitary patents have nothing to do with software patents, but why then:
"EPLAW strongly recommends the exclusion of rules of substantive patent law from Union law". One argument is that only patent courts would be qualified to decide the limits of patents. Patent "users" and professionals seriously believe they own the golden hammer for innovation. Just don't let anything get in their way. Who would not like exclusive rights?

I also got strong reactions from patent attorneys from Stallmans piece in the Guradian. They say that software patents are already established in the EU, why does he not understand that? That debate was over ten years ago! But thats not true. Its happening right here and now while software patents are ever more questioned and tried publicly. What happened ten years ago is coming into the public light - and it shames the patent institutions. Its also a trial of legitimacy. Where monopolist proponents try to establish software patents like MS: "We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property," says Ballmer in an interview. FOSS patrons are going to have to "play by the same rules as the rest of the business," he insists. "What's fair is fair." (see Glyn Moody on techdirt). A European court that protects the "users" of the patent-system would allow MS to litigate for licenses in one strike over all of EU.

A specialized patent outside EU law or national law would make it next to impossible to cure a sick system in need of outside input. It might also spell the end of free software and cost us quite a lot more, as Bessen and Meurer's book "Patent Failure" points out.

If you are in Stockholm, dont miss Stallman on 8/11 at the Stockholm University:

And check out the petition to remove software patents at the white house.

 - jonas

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