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[Fsfe-france] Article de reference sur les mythes autour des brevets log

From: Laurent GUERBY
Subject: [Fsfe-france] Article de reference sur les mythes autour des brevets logiciels
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 23:50:46 +0100

Ca demenage, tres complet et c'est ecrit par un juriste. Une reference.


Quietly Tying Down Gulliver - The SW Patent Fairy Tale ~ by Cristian


Why this article?

Put simply, the clouded and subjective debate over the CII Directive and
software patents is detrimental both for IT lawyers and the IT


I do not work nor have any financial interest in an open source software
company nor am I getting paid, whether directly or indirectly, for
writing this article or for expressing a particular view point. In fact,
rather than standing to gain financially by encouraging the reader to
adopt the views that I am espousing, I am more likely to have put a
damper on any prospect of having a lucrative in-house position
overlooking the M4 motorway (perhaps a good thing). If we are to see
through the smog of disinformation, we first need to explore the key
myths that have been put up in our way to obscure our vision.


The bottom line for IT lawyers

Software patents will only advantage a small group of the largest (and
in the minority) IT companies. As IT lawyers, how many of us can say
that we have such clients on our books? The bread and butter for IT
lawyers are IT SMEs –- for such clients, patents are not the solution
but the problem. The legitimisation of software patents across Europe
would make patent agents better off, as well as certain IP lawyers.
However, the long-term picture is very different. Software patents
increase the barriers for new entrants, your future client base, and
potentially the next Microsoft or Apple (neither would have been able to
grow so impressively if a patent rich environment had existed in the
early 80s). Furthermore, they put at risk the very well-being and
profitability of your existing clients. Patent litigation is extremely
expensive. Dealing with patents takes away time from creating innovative
applications that generate revenue . With fewer innovative products, the
full creative potential of a client may not be realised and if its
growth is hindered through lack of innovation or if they are ruined
through patent litigation, you are likely to miss out on the long-term
benefit of a consistent and, potentially increasing, revenue stream.
What is worse is that the effect of patents is to lead to a grouping of
ideas with an ever decreasing pool of companies resulting in a move
towards monopolisation and fewer but bigger IT companies (which means
less clients to go round). Finally, as a consumer of software (which all
law firms are), IT costs are likely to increase through less choice,
less innovation and less competition and potentially higher prices. Food
for thought? 


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