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The Netherlands Patent Office Changes to Open Source Software

Sep 26, 2008, 07:31 (1 Talkback[s])

"The Netherlands Patent Office is the first government authority to implement the 'Nederland Open in Connection' action plan and to switch a large number of its ICT systems to what is known as open source software. As the first step, Frank Heemskerk, minister of Foreign Affairs launched the new website of the Netherlands Patent Office today, which is based on open source software. By the end of 2009, the entire office environment, including desktop computer systems and the relationship management system will be running on the basis of open source software.

"Open source software allows free access to its source code which means that it can be freely edited by users and there are no licensing costs. The open source pilot project at the Netherlands Patent Office is part of Heemskerk's action plan 'Nederland in Open Connection', in which a number of specific measures are put forward to encourage the use of open standards and open source software in government authorities. 'Wider use of open source software offers greater opportunities for new software companies. It also reduces the government's dependency on fixed suppliers and ensures lower costs', explains Heemskerk. According to the minister, the Netherlands Patent Office is an important front runner with its plans and serves as a good example to other government authorities that have yet to implement the action plan.

"With the website launched today, the Netherlands Patent Office is the first Dutch government organisation to use open source software on its website, in combination with the new government 'house style'. According to president Guus Broesterhuizen, the Netherlands Patent Office is actively working towards wider use of open source software and open standards, and he believes that the website is the first public display of this commitment. 'In addition, visitors to the new website can see clearly how much it will cost to apply for a patent. This will ensure that the costs and benefits of using patents become even more transparent, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises', explains Broesterhuizen."

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