[Fsfe-ie] Re: Patent letter #3

Ben North ben at redfrontdoor.org
Fri Jan 23 10:07:21 CET 2004

Ciaran O'Riordan writes:
> Ben North writes:
> >   It might even be worth including
> >   [the FTC report's] conclusions in full:
> I was thinking of including a print out of the 13 pages on software
> patents, and highlighting any sections that we reference.  The report is
> certainly a gold mine.

That's a good idea, yes.  If you don't think it would make the letter
too bulky, though, I still think the three-paragraph conclusion should
be included in the letter.  It's good stuff, as you say.

> I positioned that paragraph ["Software already has legal protection in
> the form of copyright..."] kinda haphazardly.  It was an artefact from
> a previous draft.

I think it's a good point to include, otherwise we might be dismissed as
arguing for no controls at all on software.

> >  Not "probably wouldn't
> >   do what it's supposed to do", but "DOES NOT...", in the experience of
> >   the US panel.  The point "this is what happens, don't let Europe
> >   repeat the US' mistakes" is a powerful one.
> so we should be more assertive. ok.

I've just realised that what I wrote might look like I was SHOUTING AT
THE LIST --- sorry.  I was trying to say that we should find some good
way of strongly pointing out that the FTC report is based on actual
experience of people working in the software industry, and having to
work with (or round) the current US patent system.  And that their
experience is that patents don't work for software.

> > * I've seen it pointed out by many pro-patent groups that there's a
> >   correlation between R&D spending and patent portfolio size,
> I think this is refuted by parts of the FTC report, so we can work it in
> from there.

OK, sounds good.

> I'll post a new draft tonight, and another on friday.  It should be
> ready for nitpicking then.

I think it's looking good; thanks very much for your work.


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