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[d@DCC] European opponent to Software Patents named "Most Influential Executive of 2004"

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
To: General Copyright Discussions <discuss (at) list.digital-copyright.ca>
Cc: discuss -_at_- linux.ca, CANadian OPENsource Education and Research <discuss -_at_- canopener.ca>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 11:33:43 -0500 (EST)

Please circulate. 

Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 11:30:50 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell McOrmond
To: Minister.Industry@ic.gc.ca
Cc: Rajotte.J@parl.gc.ca, Crete.P@parl.gc.ca, Masse.B@parl.gc.ca
Subject: European opponent to Software Patents named "Most Influential
    Executive of 2004"


To The Honourable David Emerson -- Minister of Industry

Cc: James Rajotte -- Conservative Industry critic,
    Paul Crête    -- Bloc Québécois Industry critic,
    Brian Masse   -- New Democratic Party Industry critic,


  I would like to draw the attention of the Industry Minister and critics
to the fact that the person named the "Most Influential Executive of 2004"  
by CRN (one of the magazines of CMP Media LLC, United Business Media) is a
strong opponent of software patents.

  While there is active opposition to the legalization of software patents
in Europe, the situation in Canada is far less clear.  Attempts I have
made to clarify the patentability of software in Canada have been met with
various roadblocks at Industry Canada.

  To help protect Canadian software innovation I believe it is appropriate
for the Minister's office to step in and help to clarify to Canadians that
pure software is not patentable in Canada, and that the Canadian
Intellectual Property Office should not be granting software patents.

Thank you.

Russell McOrmond
305 Southcrest Private,
Ottawa, ON
K1V 2B7
Phone: (613) 733-5836
Full contact information at http://www.flora.ca/#contact


Torvalds Dubbed Most Influential Executive of 2004
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/view/580

Linus, Monty, Rasmus: No Software Patents
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/view/579

-- 
 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> 
 Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens,
 and acts similar to law.  How do we ensure transparency/accountability?  
 http://www.flora.ca/russell/drafts/code-is-law.html

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 14:38:45 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell McOrmond <russell@flora.ca>
To: Rajotte.J@parl.gc.ca, Crete.P@parl.gc.ca, Masse.B@parl.gc.ca
Subject: Are Industry critics able to help on Software Patent policy work?


To  James Rajotte -- Conservative Industry critic,
    Paul Crête    -- Bloc Québécois Industry critic,
    Brian Masse   -- New Democratic Party Industry critic,


  As an independent software consultant I have been trying to get
clarification from the government on the patentability of software. I was
commissioned to do a report on software patent issues for Industry Canada
in 2003.  As part of this work I read that the only court case that ruled
on the patentability of software suggested that pure software patents
would not be legal in Canada.  While this was what I understood, I knew
that many patent lawyers have been advising their clients that they are
legal and many pure software patents have been granted by the Canadian
patent office.

  Software patents are acknowledged by many independent studies as being
harmful, with government studies indicating that competition promotes
innovation while the monopolies of software patents stifle innovation.

  I have been trying to extract basic information out of Industry Canada,
such as a publicly publishable copy of chapter 26 of the Manual of Patent
Office Practices drafted for the review of computer implemented inventions
and business methods.  I read an unpublishable draft of this chapter in
2003 that read like a manual to explain to patent filers how to word their
applications to get around the illegality of pure software patents in
Canada.

  I have sent various messages to the various Industry ministers over the
last few years, and have yet to receive any replies.  Messages to the
Canadian Intellectual Property Office are met with various excuses for
delays. In one example CIPO misdirected Tara Rapley (Senior Adviser,
Information & Privacy Rights Administration, Industry Canada) by
suggesting that the document would be published in October and thus a
potential ATIP request I was inquiring about would have been rejected.


Thank you for any help you can offer!

Russell McOrmond
305 Southcrest Private,
Ottawa, ON
K1V 2B7
Phone: (613) 733-5836
Full contact information at http://www.flora.ca/#contact



References:

A Review of Software Patent Issues
http://www.flora.ca/patent2003/
  - Report commissioned by ICT branch of Industry Canada.


Looking forward to reading chapter 26 of patent manual by end of next
week.
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/discuss/3846
  - letter copied to Industry Minister and various Industry bureaucrats 
    about the ATIP issue.


Two recent media articles:

EWeek: Torvalds Slams EU Patent Proposal
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/view/577
  - Example article discussing how many of the great software innovators
    of our time are strongly opposed to the patentability of software.

EWeek: Patents Should Meet BASIC Tests of Reason
http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/view/574
  - Example article discussing the extremely poor quality of software 
    patents.

  As my report for Industry Canada indicated, somewhere between 60-90% of
software patents would never pass adequately rigorous tests of utility,
novelty and unobviousness.  Adding in adequate analysis of the cost to
innovation of software patents would likely suggest an exclusion of that
minority that pass existing tests.

-- 
 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> 
 Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens,
 and acts similar to law.  How do we ensure transparency/accountability?  
 http://www.flora.ca/russell/drafts/code-is-law.html
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