"EuroLinux Publishes European Software Patent Horror
"The Association for the Promotion of a Free Informational
Infrastructure (FFII), member of the EuroLinux Alliance of software
publishers and non profit associations, has published a database of
software patents granted by the EPO, together with some impressive
examples, statistics and articles. This database shows that
software patents granted by the European Patent Office are even
more trivial than software patents granted in the United States.
This "European Software Patent Horror Gallery" will be introduced
on November 21 11-12:30 in Munich, Germany, with special guest
Richard Stallman, founder of the League for Programming
"Currently, pure software patents granted by the European Patent
Office are considered as illegal or abusive by national courts in
Europe. However, this situation may change by the end of the week
if the exception on computer programs is removed from the European
Patent Convention. It would then be no longer legal to conduct
automated medical diagnoses in Europe. The same applies to numerous
economic or social activities such as conducting of examinations in
schools, bringing traders together at the stock exchange,
generating purchasing lists from cooking recipes, setting prices
dynamically, learning languages by comparing one's pronunciation
with that of a teacher. All these activities would infringe on
European patents, as soon as they are implemented through software.
Other EPO patents encumber network standards such as MIME and CGI
and squatter the operating system level by occupying thousands of
basic methods of memory arithmetics, making programming in these
fields a hazardous endeavour."
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