[Fsfe-ie] Software Patents - Innovation or Litigation? - Doyle (fwd)
ian at locut.us
Mon Jan 31 20:51:31 CET 2005
On 31 Jan 2005, at 19:30, jm at jmason.org wrote:
> fyi -- just got this from Avril Doyle's office. So BillG is
> coming to lobby...
Yup, with this in mind I sent the following to Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP
who is good on swpat and is apparently one of those meeting our good
friend Bill tomorrow (I also followed-up with a phonecall to ensure
that her aide read it in time):
> From: ian at locut.us
> Subject: Bill Gates meeting tomorrow
> Date: 31 January 2005 11:12:04 GMT
> To: pkauppi at europarl.eu.int
> Dear Ms Kauppi,
> I am the founder and CEO of Cematics Ltd, a software development
> company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I am extremely concerned about
> the negative effect software patents will have should the current EPO
> practice of granting software patents be codified in law, thus
> "activating" tens of thousands of already-granted European Software
> Patents that are presently dormant due to their questionable validity.
> I am aware that you have been a strong voice against the introduction
> of Software Patents in the EU, and I would firstly like to express my
> appreciation for your efforts in this regard. It is my understanding
> that Bill Gates of Microsoft will be meeting with a number of MEPs
> tomorrow on the subject of the Software Patent Directive, and that you
> would be one of those meeting with him.
> If so, it would be very interesting to hear his response to the
> following quote, attributed to him in 1991:
> "If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of
> today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry
> would be at a complete standstill today. ... The solution is patenting
> as much as we can. A future startup with no patents of its own will be
> forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose. That price
> might be high. Established companies have an interest in excluding
> future competitors."
> (This was quoted by Fred Warshofsky in "The Patent Wars" of 1994.
> According to this book the text is from an internal memo written by
> Bill Gates to his staff. Part of has appeared in another Gates memos).
> I think if this quote is accurate then it would appear that Bill Gates
> shares the opinion of concerned software developers that software
> patents will be bad for competition, but he sees this as an
> opportunity for Microsoft rather than a threat. It would certainly
> not be the role of the European Union to aid Microsoft in their
> efforts to quash their future competitors.
> I would be very appreciative if you could seek Mr Gates' response to
> this quote should you meet him yourself, or if you could forward this
> email to one of the MEPs that will be in a position to do this.
> Yours with Gratitude,
> Ian Clarke.
Founder, The Freenet Project http://freenetproject.org/
CEO, Cematics Ltd http://cematics.com/
Personal Blog http://locut.us/~ian/blog/
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