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LinuxPR: No e-Patents: A Petition to Save Software Innovation in Europe

Jun 15, 2000, 21:59 (0 Talkback[s])

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"The Eurolinux Alliance of European software companies and Open Source associations launches a pan-European petition to keep Europe free from software patents. This petition is receiving growing support from commercial software publishers in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden."

"Together with this petition, the EuroLinux Alliance publishes "The EuroLinux File on Software Patents" [http://petition.eurolinux.org/reference/] a document which lets everyone understand in less than 15 minutes the dangers posed by software patents. This document, based on thorough economical and legal analysis, exhibits clear evidences of the negative impact of software patents on innovation and competition. It shows that the European Commission has mainly taken into account the point of view of patent attorneys, dominant players in the electronic industry and recent rulings of the United States Patent Office, leaving away the point of view of innovative European software publishers. Also, the decision making process at the European Commission does not seem to implement provisions of the Rome Treaty calling for a high level of competition, consumer protection, public safety, industrial growth and cultural diversity in Europe."

"Frank Hoen, President of NetPresenter, a Dutch company which invented Internet push technology, warns: "financial analysts should be aware that the software patent system, as it has evolved in the US, does generate many costly legal disputes but does not succeed in protecting real software inventors or investors. It is a system which allows companies with a strong legal team, and often no merit, to rip-off or block innovative companies. As it has been highlighted by MIT and Harvard economists, a system based on copyright, or copyright-like sui generis Law, protects investment in software technologies much better than the current US patent system."

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