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[d@DCC] The Scourge of Software Patents
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
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 software. 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: http://www.flora.ca/patent2003/ 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 http://www.flora.ca/#contact -- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> Have you, your family, your friends (, your enemies) signed the Petition to the Canadian Parliament for Users' Rights in Copyright? http://digital-copyright.ca/petition/ ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 20:16:39 -0600 From: John Lange <firstname.lastname@example.org> Reply-To: General Copyright Discussions <email@example.com> To: General Copyright Discussions <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: [d@DCC] The Scourge of Software Patents Hot on the heals of our discussion, here is an entire article dedicated to this topic: http://www.linux-mag.com/2004-09/docket_01.html "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. John _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing list Discuss@list.digital-copyright.ca http://list.digital-copyright.ca/mailman/listinfo/discuss _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing list Discuss@list.digital-copyright.ca http://list.digital-copyright.ca/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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