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UK Patent Office: Should Patents be Granted for Computer Software or Ways of Doing Business? - The Government's Conclusions

Mar 15, 2001, 22:13 (10 Talkback[s])

"Many respondents emphasised the advantages of `Open Source' software, and characterised patents as a threat. Some of these expressly called for fewer, or no, software patents. Others focused on the harm they felt software patents would do, implying that their chief concern was a possible extension of patentability. Many of the respondents who held these views were individuals, often working in software development within SMEs or as one-man bands, or in spare time...."

"The Government does not, however, accept the view - asserted by some respondents - that Open Source software is threatened by the existing extent of patentability. This seems to fly in the face of the facts, notably that during the last decade Open Source software has flourished...."

"The Government's conclusion is thus to reaffirm the principle that patents are for technological innovations. Software should not be patentable where there is no technological innovation, and technological innovations should not cease to be patentable merely because the innovation lies in software."

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