Thursday, July 21, 2005

ANTI-SOFTWARE ACTIVIST AWARDED "MOST INFLUENTIAL" AWARD: Managing Intellectual Property Magazine, which boasts a large readership of "senior in-house counsel in multinational companies", has listed anti-software harpie Florian Mueller, the founder of NoSoftwarePatents.com, in its annual list of the 50 most powerful people involved in intellectual property.

The list also includes Wu Yi, the Chinese vice-premier; Francis Gurry, the deputy director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization; Alain Pompidou, the president of the European Patent Office; EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy; Marshall Phelps, the head of IP at Microsoft; and James Dyson, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner.

I suppose being "powerful" doesn't mean you necessarily know what you're talking about. Mueller and his ilk have the ad hominem wing of the CII debate cornered with their incessant shrieking over the "evils" of software patents, and their duping of programmers into thinking that Bill Gates was going to help himself to their personal bank accounts should the CII get passed. Here are some notable quotes from Mr. Mueller:

"The logic of computer programs is a combination of mathematical and verbal expression, and it deserves the freedom of speech . . . [T]here are some who say that software is "engineered". In practice, software is written. A computer program consists of words, numbers, and mathematical symbols. In writing a computer program, no one should be restricted by patents that make it illegal to develop one's thoughts in any way. "

"Copyright protects authors but doesn't hurt any honest person. Patents, in contrast, are 20-year monopolies that the government grants on broad and general ideas. Patents are potential weapons against all of us."

"Cross-licensing deals show the absurdity of the patent system. Large companies give each other, i.e. their biggest competitors, full access to their entire patent portfolios, but still pretend that patents were necessary to protect innovation. Real protection is not cross-licensed. Could you imagine a book publisher allowing his biggest competitor to publish all of his books? It would be suicide. "

"Patent attorneys ask for unlimited patentability of almost everything. Anyone can figure out why that is so. The more things are patentable (including software), the more patents are applied for and the more patent litigations take place. The patent attorneys only look at their own benefit, not at the immense damage that the patent system causes to society. "

Genius . . . simply genius . . .

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