December 11, 2004

EU Patent Decision Delayed

The EU Council has decided to postpone its software patentability decision until next year. Apparently, many of the member states have started expressing concerns against software patents. Poland is one of those countries, and their statement that "'computer-implemented inventions' would be patentable, but that computer programs would not be" is exactly right, but vague due to a lack of definitions.

The idea is to patent a specific application, but not a class of applications or the technical approach used by an application. In other words, you can patent your tire, but not the tire. But that does bring up another point. To some extent, the ability to patent your tire should also be invalid for the single reason that a specific implementation may in fact be the best implementation. That does not apply, of course, to the majority of items. But it is conceivable, for example, that a specific mixture of glass creates the absolutely best transparent optical properties physically possible. A patent on that would have long-lasting damaging effects.

Posted by josuah at December 11, 2004 7:43 PM UTC+00:00

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