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[d@DCC] The Scourge of Software Patents

From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_>
To: CorrespondenceMinister (at), Emerson.D (at), Reg Alcock <reg.alcock (at)>, Rajotte.J (at), Crete.P (at), Masse.B (at), "Alcock, Reg - M.P." <Alcock.R (at)>
Cc: Rapley.Tara -_at_-, Riel.LouisPierre -_at_-, Bincoletto.Susan -_at_-, General Copyright Discussions <discuss -_at_->
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 11:00:51 -0500 (EST)

Dear Hon. David Emerson, Minister of Industry,

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

    Hon. Reg Alcock -- President of the Treasury Board, and MP aware
       of a full spectrum of business models in IT, including Open Source

  At the end of this message I am forwarding a media article about
software patents.  Exclusive rights such as copyright and patents are one
of the largest determining factors in software innovation, and is
something that policy makers, elected representatives and economists from
Industry Canada must weigh in on.  Economic analysis will show that
competition, not exclusive rights, are most important and that exclusive
rights in software must be fast, cheap and narrow which copyright offers
(limited to exclude interfaces) but patents do not.

  Exclusive rights are to innovation and creativity like water is too
humans; too little and you dehydrate and die, too much and you drown and
die.  The software practice is currently drowning and the government has
thus far only promised to throw more water at us.

  Legal analysis of the existing vague Patent Act is not sufficient to
determine such radical changes to important economic public policy.  
While the patent office has suggested many times that they are just
interpreting the Patent Act and Rules, and Canadian jurisprudence, I can
not agree.  Canadian jurisprudence seems quite clear in opposing pure
software patents even though the patent office seems intent to bypass this
jurisprudence and set new policy.

  On Wednesday I filed an ATiP request for information surrounding chapter
26 of the Manual of Patent Office Practices (MOPOP) drafted for the review
of computer implemented inventions and business methods.  While the last
correspondence I received suggested this chapter would be published on
Monday the 20'th, I wanted to file a request to:

  a) Ensure that the public release of this chapter can not be further
     delayed, given I have been trying to get this chapter publicly 
     published since I wrote my report in March 2003.

  b) Receive older drafts and information from the so-called
     "consultation" process that appears to have only included 
     pro-software patent special interests.

  ATiP request available from:

  With many countries working to harmonize patent policy we need Canada to
do adequate economic analysis of this issue so that we can weigh in on the
side of innovation and competition against mental/information process
patents.  While outsiders to this art like patent lawyers, patent offices
and high tech executives are supportive of this radical policy change to
allow software patents, those who are actual practitioners and skilled in
the art are almost entirely opposed.

  Please put mental/information process patenting as a high priority for 
policy review at Industry Canada.  Our place in the world economy will 
depend on what decisions are made.

Thank you.

Russell McOrmond
305 Southcrest Private,
Ottawa, ON
K1V 2B7
Phone: (613) 733-5836

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
 Have you, your family, your friends (, your enemies) signed the
 Petition to the Canadian Parliament for Users' Rights in Copyright?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 20:16:39 -0600
From: John Lange <>
Reply-To: General Copyright Discussions <>
To: General Copyright Discussions <>
Subject: [d@DCC] The Scourge of Software Patents

Hot on the heals of our discussion, here is an entire article dedicated
to this topic:

"Software patents -- more than copyright laws, commercial software
companies, and uninformed legislators -- are the biggest threat to the
future of free software."

As this is a Linux centric magazine they say "free software". Reality is
this should be edited to say just "software".

Free or non-Free, all software is under threat from software patents.


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