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Yes To Innovation!
No To Software Patents!

FFII.se is the Swedish chapter of FFII, Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, which is the leading European organization working to prevent the slippry slope in accepting software patents in Europe.

A complicating factor is that nobody openly admits to being in favor of software patents. The EU 2004 EU-directive was claimed to be about harmonization of national laws, but opens the door for US style patents on computer programs and business methods, something that everybody claims to be against.

Your e-Commerce Site Is Patented

Your Webshop Is Patented! The illustration shows an imaginary example of an ordinary e-commerce site, with typical functions. This site infringes on 20 software patents. The patents have already been granted by the European Patent Office EPO, despite the fact that there is no legal basis for granting them. Yet.

Because now the EPO and other lobbying groups in Brussels want to change the law, to make these patents valid. Then the patent holders can start demanding royalties and suing for compensation. Do you (or any of your clients) have a web site where you can order things over the Internet? Then this is probably something that concerns you too.

FFII.se wants the law to remain the way it is written today, which is that computer programs are protected by copyright, and patents can only be granted for real technical inventions with industrial application. This position was shared by the European Parliament in a vote in September 2003. How things will stand this autumn, when the issue will be settled in a second vote, is an open question. So right now it is possible to influence the outcome.

On this site we explain what software patents are, and why they are harmful to society and to business. We explain the difference between software patents and regular patents, and how it is possible to be against software patents, but still be in favor of for example mechanical, chemical and pharmaceutical patents.

We explain the legal background and the political game, and why most of the businesses that will be hurt by software patents if they become legal, haven't even heard about the issue.

 

Read More

Acacia - Software Patents In Practice

In the US, software patents are a long established fact. So with the benefit of hindsight, we Europeans don't have to guess about the consequences if software patents are legalized. Read about Acacia Technologies, and their patent on the idea of sending video films over the Internet.

Software Patents Hurt The Economy

Read about why the reasons for granting patents in other areas simply do no apply to software patents, and about the harmful consequences that software patents have had in the US.

Software Patent Law

What is the legal situation today? What does the law say about software patents, and what is the current practice?

Read how the answer to the question turns out to be the the law explicitly prohibits software patents, but in practice the EPO grants them anyway. As long as you pay your fees to the EPO. Which, incidentally, the EPO is allowed to keep, as long as they keep on granting patents.

The Politics of Software Patents

If you ask the politicians in Brussels who are trying to legalize software patents, they will ensure you that they too want to prevent the situation in Europe from becoming like in the US.

"We want to keep Europe free from Amazons's 1-click-patent" says MEP Arlene McCarthy, when somebody points out to her that the EPO has granted that patent in Europe too. "This is an example of bad EPO practice", she continues.

But then she vigorously fights to prevent the directive from containing the definitions that would make the 1-click-patent invalid. Read about political double-talk on a high level.

External links

390,000 people...

...have signed the petition against software patents in Europe. That's quite a number of signatories, for an issue that sounds so technical, and is being marketed as "just harmonization, no change".

Have you signed it? Click on the link to read more, to decide if you should.

FFII Europe

FFII is the leading European organization opposing software patents, and coordinating activities on the national level. The FFII site can be rather tricky to navigate, but it contains a wealth of information and arguments.

Gnuheter

Swedish news and discussion site for computer people and others who might be interested, where the issue of software patents often comes up. This is probably the best news site for staying informed about the software patents debate from a Swedish perspective.

Slashdot

American and/or international news and discussion site, which also features articles about software patents on a regular basis.

Contact information (2010)

Jonas Bosson
President
bosson<AT>ffii.org

David Vuorio
Press secretary
vuorio<AT>ffii.org
+46(0)70 444 59 92

For general questions, please send an e-mail to: <a href="mailto:se-help@ffii.org">se-help@ffii.org</a>.