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Re: Friday 18 March 2005 FTC Meeting on Patents in Boston

From: firewoodtim
Subject: Re: Friday 18 March 2005 FTC Meeting on Patents in Boston
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 21:05:02 GMT

I am glad that someone at COLA has decided to pay attention to the
extremely important topic of software patents.  I urge everyone to
become familiar with the issue in depth.  As I have pointed out in
previous posts, software patents have the potential to destroy open
source software development and can drive small proprietary software
development companies out of business. As a result of the extremely
high legal costs involved in researching and/or defending code in
court, many trivial or otherwise invalid patents can prove just as
effective as a valid patent (if any swpat can be ethically considered
valid) in destroying a competitor.

The US Patent office is issuing software patents with reckless
disregard for their actual validity.  They have taken the approach
that patents can be better debated in court, rather than bothering to
research and limit the scope of swpats themselves.

Software patents are viewed by M$ and other large, proprietary
software developers as their most effective tool in both FUD-attacks
against Linux/FLOSS and in actual, court-enforced destruction of
entire software projects.  They have yet to launch their attack,
waiting for current developments in Europe to come to a head.  Do not
be led into complacency by those who surmise that FLOSS is somehow
immune to this danger.  Software patents have the potential to make
the software world entirely closed source and proprietary.

For those interested, please check out:

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