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

Arjen Lentz arjen at mysql.com
Wed Aug 4 10:55:01 UTC 2004

Hi John, ,all,

On Wed, 2004-08-04 at 10:42, John Dalton wrote:
> Arjen Lentz wrote:
> [snip]
> > 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.

Thanks. Searching (and finding) is one of my skills ;-)

> 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:
>    http://www.eff.org/patent/wanted/
> However our focus should obviously be on patents granted in Australia.

That looks exactly like what I was aiming at, yes.

> 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?

You mean just like RedHat is acquiring software patents for defensive
purposes... well I suppose. I mean you can assign specific rights to
anyone you like, or sell the whole thing. OSIA and/or Linux Australia
could do be caretaker for something like this, at least in theory.

I'm not sure if it could be effective. We should probably check with the

Arjen Lentz, Technical Writer, Trainer
Brisbane, QLD Australia
MySQL AB, www.mysql.com

Brisbane 6 Sep 2004 (5 days): MySQL & PHP Training
Training,Support,Licenses,T-shirts @ https://order.mysql.com/?ref=marl

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