EU Ministers Approve Software Patents

from the backwards-move dept

In a move that is likely to cause a lot more harm than good, the European Council has approved a dreadful plan to allow for software patents. The language of the plan has apparently removed an amendment that would have made the idea more palatable to open source supporters. ZDNet UK has more details. It’s not a done deal yet, as it still needs to be voted on by the European Parliament – but it will be much more difficult to change the policy now. This is, once again, a case of people making political decisions rather than ones that will generally help the economy. Software patents will only tie up the patent and legal system and will do plenty to slow down innovation, rather than speed it up. Being able to invent something and being able to successfully sell it to the market are two completely different things. By saying that only those who invent a concept are allowed to sell it to the market, they are slowing down the ability for companies to successfully get new, useful products to market. With software patents, this is especially troublesome because it’s very difficult to determine what in the software is actually patentable and very broad concepts that should never be locked up under a government granted monopoly end up that way.

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