[Linux-aus] Re: Software patents: Munich has put Linux project on hold!

pia at linux.org.au pia at linux.org.au
Thu Aug 5 08:39:01 UTC 2004

Anthony Towns writes: 

> On Wed, Aug 04, 2004 at 07:52:41AM +1000, Arjen Lentz wrote:
>>  - software patents come into force in AU through the FTA, and
> Uh, .au already has software patents. 
> ] Australia's position sits somewhere in between the two
> ] extremes. Australia's patent registry does not have a record of
> ] granting so many dubious patent rights as its American counterpart,
> ] and no high-profile software patents that have been granted have been
> ] successfully challenged. 
>  -- _The Real Deal on Software Patents_, Jeremy Malcolm
>     http://www.ilaw.com.au/public/patentsarticle.html 
> The indication from the parliamentary ctte inquiries is that this position
> isn't going to change.

There are a few patents specific problems, but keep in mind the issues 
extend beyond patents in the FTA. 

The issues isn't that we'll 'inherit' the US ones, as people have mentioned. 
The issue isn't that we are going to see much worse patents laws, because 
under the DAA (Digital Agenda Act?) introduced in aus 3 (?) years ago, we 
already changed our patents laws to be more accepting of trivial stuff. The 
issue is that we have only just finished reviewing the DAA, and are just 
learning from the issues, yet we are locking ourselves into a patents regime 
that we as a country, have no local access to change. If it does prove to be 
quite destructive, we have no mechanism to fix the problem. 

This is why setting up a patent watch project is pretty important. 


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