by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 28th 2008 4:01pm
It looks like the UK is about to make the same dangerous mistake that US courts made a while back. A decision there has now stated that the Patent Office shouldn't automatically reject patent apps on software. Oddly, the Financial Times report on this only quotes those who seem to think this is a good thing. It quotes some patent attorneys (who, as a rule of thumb, generally want more things to be patentable) claiming this will help small companies better compete. This is actually the opposite of what's happened in the US since the Supreme Court made a similar decision allowing software patents about a decade ago. Since then, the patentability of software has only resulted in the rise of ridiculous patents and lawsuits often preventing small companies from actually being able to innovate. In fact, the US Supreme Court has been trying to back away from software patents recently. Given the vigorous protests against software patents in Europe, you would think that the FT reporter would at least look for an opposing viewpoint, rather than claiming straight up that this decision was a good one.
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