The danger of software patents

Given that it looks like an unpleasant truth that the US-AU "Free Trade" Agreement will get passed and almost certainly bring us gems of legislation like the DMCA and US patent law

It’s the Patent Law that is especially frightening for those of us in the IT industry, if you wonder why then please read this article from the Sydney Morning Herald about
how a lawyer recommends that the patent system be abused, including:

Monopolies are the only way to make real money these days, and patents are fantastic because they allow you to establish legal monopolies.

It was necessary not only to patent the way we were doing things, but also to think laterally, and patent all the ways other people might do them as well, not so that we could actually do these things ourselves, but so we could prevent others from doing them.

I find it amazing that someone can say that sort of thing and it not raise serious alarm bells..

Now given the first quote, and the fact that Microsoft are busy applying for patents in the US at the rate of around 10 a day, what does that say to you about the sort of things they might try and do with them.

One thought on “The danger of software patents

  1. Well I don’t know much about these things but I think I know that the greed of big business knows no boundaries and that its a scary world when these are the folks appearing to be running politics from thousands of miles away from here. I’m obviously saddened by what I biasedly see as the naivete of our Australian Howard Government. As it seems to me to make so little financial sense to our nation’s interests I assume in my political simplicity and ignornace this is a product of some narcissistic desire to rush to sidle up to what many see as the most incompetent US leader in history. Dare I be naive and ignorant enough to believe there some flawed self congratulation at work (on feeling our sparsely populated island nation has been ‘recognised’ by what presently looks to me like a very flawed ‘superpower’)? If so, what a price to pay for a need for recognition. Could it be that one peacock fluffs its feathers out, and the multinationals grin all the way to the bank thanking their texas pal on the way with a golden handshake or two and the rest of us suckers have no say? I didn’t realise Aussies had voted years ago on yet to be seen American policies. But, wait, am I dreaming, maybe we are America, maybe, oh,… where’s my accent gone, yes it must be all the US TV imports, no, I’ve lost my accent…. where’s my identity…. I can feel one of those broad pearly white smiles coming on and an irrepressible urge to handshake someone named ‘pardner’….
    is that windows I’m using?

    cynically yours. Donna

Comments are closed.