Monday, November 08, 2004

EU SOFTWARE PATENT UPDATE: The UK Patent Office has published an article explaining the software patents directive, entitled Patents & Software: Fact and Fiction. The article explains the details of the software patents directive, a potential change to European law which would allow the patenting of certain software in Europe.

The UKPO document states that the EU Council has agreed a text which is now due to be debated by the European Parliament. It claims that the directive is needed to stop the UK from moving towards a US-style liberal patenting regime and to clarify the law by only allowing software to be patented if it makes a 'technical contribution'.

Of course, the "free software" loonies are on the rampage, claiming that the Europeans would be reduced to using rocks and sticks to get anything done should software patents be allowed. My favorite loonie, Roofus Pollock, resorts to some Soviet-era deductive argumentation to conclude that anything that positively reflects on software patents is lies . . . all lies:

"FFII-UK deplores the continuing misinformation presented in the recent Fact and Fiction document distributed by the UKPO," said Pollock. "The document continues to peddle old fictions, presents hardly a shred of evidence and continues to promote the patentability of software which threatens innovation both in the UK and across Europe."

How do you like that? Peddling old fictions promoting software patents, when it is clear to geniuses like Pollock that they "threaten innovation" (evidence abounds, don't you know). Oh, and Pollock thinks that the UK Patent Office should just shut up when it comes to promoting software patents:

"We are also concerned that a supposedly neutral, government-funded, administrative agency is taking such a strongly partisan role in this debate, particularly given the inherent conflict of interest in the Patent Offices' role that encompasses providing impartial advice while simultaneously having a significant stake in the resulting outcomes"

Inherent conflict? Significant stake? Does he think that UKPO officials are engaging in some kind of warped "patent profiteering" or something?

And where else are the inventors supposed to file applications, the US? Oh . . . wait . . . .

UPDATE: To see how unhinged Pollock has become, check out's message board for the UKPO publication. Pollock provides his characteristically deep insight on the paper - in his short reply, he manages to use the word "lie" 21 times. And the best quote of all:
What the "patent mafia" wants is that people who make independent creations can be taxed, robbed or killed by those who previously ran to the patent office and registered some general idea. It's pretty much the logic of a racket gang: We're sorry that we've just created a problem for you but now you gotta pay for a solution.
Killed? Either Pollock is fast and loose with the hyperbole, or I need to start hiring protection for clients before the EPO.

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