[Linux-aus] Re: [Osia-discuss] Hooks to the AU patent process

John Dalton John.R.Dalton at member.sage-au.org.au
Fri Aug 27 09:28:20 UTC 2004

Arjen Lentz wrote:


> But we can still use all this, if we inventorise and categorise all
> relevant applications. This makes things much more transparent and
> visible for media and politicians. We can point out specific problems
> using real examples. That's always better than generics.
> Basically, I am suggesting, and I think this jives with what Pia was
> aiming for, that we vigorously expose it all. Starting NOW. It is in
> fact a pity we didn't start it before....

Some excellent research there, Arjen.

I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion that we do something about 
this.  We ought to coordinate our efforts with those who have similar 
aims, for example the EFF:


However our focus should obviously be on patents granted in Australia.

Another thought in the same "playing them at their own game" theme: 
why not file for patents protecting open source software?  I don't 
think that the author of a patent application has to be the owner of 
the IP, because they're usually written by employees of companies 
which own the IP in the patent.

I'm guessing that it's the owner of the IP who has to actually file 
the patent though.  However I don't see why patents or patent 
applications couldn't be "donated" to some umbrella organisation 
constructed in such a way as to prevent them being used incorrectly, 
the same way that the FSF receives copyright assignments from developers.

This way open source software can be protected from both sides at 
once.  We can establish a patent portfolio for defence against hostile 
software patents (hopefully preventing many from being granted by 
getting there first), while at the same time attempting reform of the 
system that will make all of those software patents invalid.

Is this already being done?  Is it even possible?

John Dalton

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