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LinuxPR: European Software Patents: More Trivial than in the US

Nov 20, 2000, 21:25 (1 Talkback[s])

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"EuroLinux Publishes European Software Patent Horror Gallery."

"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 Freedom."

"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."

Press Release