That anti-patent pamphlet I mentioned

xdrudis at xdrudis at
Mon Dec 9 17:03:43 UTC 2002

> The guidelines you cite are based on a decision by the highest
> entity within the EPO, the Technical Board of Appeal. They are
> there to interpret the EPC. And if they say that something is
> patentable, how can it be against the EPC? They *are* the
> interpreter of the EPC.

Thanks for pointing it out. Am I wrong in believing that interpretation 
is bound by the text you interpret, even if you are the highest board of
appeals of the sacrest institution?. The EPO interpretation is
inconsistent because it pretends the exclusion of programs "for computer
programs as such" affect 0 computer programs, because depending on 
how you write your application, any computer program can be patented
(although one usually patents much more general things than computer
programs, and a program is covered by several patents). 
> > "Early in 2003, Software Patents are likely to become enforced 
> within the
> > EU, despite being banned since 1973 and those issuing from the 
> mid-1980s
> > being of dubiious enforceability."
> This is wrong, as there are many EPC patents that have been
> successfully used against software products. Furthermore the
> EPC isn't the EU, it's a totally different treaty.

The directive that would force national courts or the European Courts
to enforce them affects only the EU. 

Precisely because some swpats have been enforced, and some have not, 
their enforceability is dubious. If all had been enforced, or 
all invalidated, it would be clear. But in fact it depends on the court.
You never know if the interpretation of the judge will be the same
as the EPO or what I can read in the EPC.

> > When you imply any software patent can be overturned with prior 
> art, I'd
> > be more careful. not all of them possibly can. On the one hand it 
> is not
> > enough to know everyobdy and his dog was doing it before the 
> patent, it
> > must be published (any many patented "inventions" are so silly 
> they can't
> > get published in any serious place). And besides, really innovative
> > software patents are also a problem (think of RSA, for instance).
> RSA and the MPEG families of patents are examples of "software
> patents" that make a lot of money. And why would big firms with
> lots of lawyers and money pay large amounts of royalties ($2.50
> per device for MPEG, for example) if the patents could easily
> be declared invalid?

That's what I meant. Even software patents that cannot be invalidated
through prior art (but should through subject matter) are harmful. 
> Don't get me wrong, I don't want to start the debate on whether
> software patents are good or bad. But if you want your message
> to come across, you should get the facts straight and try to
> be as objective as possible. If you start with lots of loaded
> messages, your opponents can appear reasonable by simply pointing
> out counterexamples and offering rational-sounding arguments.

And I thank you for all your efforts to explain things. I agree we must 
get the facts as right as possible. So please, keep on correcting us.

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