[openstandaarden] grote namen over softwarepatenten

Wouter Vanden Hove wouter.vanden.hove at pandora.be
Sat Jun 14 16:15:15 CEST 2003

Hier een paar getuigenissen  over enkele grote namen uit de
software-industrie die de heer Deckmyn misschien ook hoog inschat:

1) Autodesk
Jim warren getuigde in 1994 voor de Department of Commerce:

"There is absolutelty no evidence, whatsoever - not a single jota - that
software patents have promoted or will promote progress... The company
for which I'm speaking, Autodesk, holds some number of software patents.
However, all are defensive - an infuriating waste of our technical and
financial resources, made necessary only by the lawyer's invention of
software patents."

Ik nodig u uit om zijn voledige getuigenis te lezen:
Autodesk behoort tot de 10 grootste software-uitgevers ter wereld, hun
bekendste product is Autocad.

2) Douglas Brotz, Principal Scientist, Adobe Systems, Inc.
I believe that software per se should not be allowed patent protection.
I take this position as the creator of software and as the beneficiary
of the rewards that innovative software can bring in the marketplace. I
do not take this position because I or my company are eager to steal the
ideas of others in our industry. Adobe has built its business by
creating new markets with new software. We take this position because it
is the best policy for maintaining a healthy software industry, where
innovation can prosper....However, I argue that software should not be
patented, not because it is difficult to do so, but because it is wrong
to do so.

The software marketplace requires constant innovation regardless of
whether the computer programs can be patented or not. Indeed, the
fundamental computer programs and concepts on which the entire industry
is based were conceived in an era when software was considered to be


3) Oracle

        Oracle Corporation opposes the patentability of software. The
        Company believes that existing copyright law and available trade
        secret protections, as opposed to patent law, are better suited
        to protecting computer software developments.
        Unfortunately, as a defensive strategy, Oracle has been forced
        to protect itself by selectively applying for patents which will
        present the best opportunities for cross-licensing between
        Oracle and other companies who may allege patent infringement...
        Oracle filed its first patent application in November 1991, not
        because it felt that its software was suddenly worthy of patent
        protection; it filed that application because of concerns that
        other inventors, afforded patent protection by a flawed patent
        system, might find themselves in a position to seriously weaken
        the Company's competitive edge by alleging patent infringement.
        Even if Oracle had developed a certain invention first and could
        produce the appropriate prior art to prove its case, thousands
        of dollars in attorneys fees and other expenses would be spent
        in defense of its rightfully-owned technology...
        Oracle has recommended that patent protection not be provided
        for computer software or computer software algorithms, for the
        reasons described above.

4) Microsoft

Bill Gates in een intern memo aan zijn medewerkers [geciteerd in "The
Patent Wars", 1994, Fred Warshofsky] 
        If people had understood how patents would be granted when most
        of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the
        industry would be at a complete stadstill today...The solution
        for us is is patenting as much as we can. A future startup with
        no patetns of its own will be forced to pay whatever the giants
        choose to impose. That price might be high. Established
        companies have an interest in exluding future competitors.

"Door patentering wordt vernieuwing gestimuleerd omdat het de
mogelijkheid biedt deze te commercialiseren."

Of the thousands of programmers I have known in the last quarter-
century, I have never heard a single one say they didn't develop a
program because they couldn't monopolize. -- Jim Warren, getuigenis
Department of Commerce, 1994

The second thing that I think, at least in our domain, that is a
misconception is that people actually read patents and use them to
advance the wrong technology. No engineer I've ever known has been
willing to read other people's patents, and most people feel, at least
in our field, that patents don't describe things with enough
particularity to know how to copy them anyway. -- Paul Lippe, General
Counsel, Synopsis

For example, when we at Adobe founded a company on the concept of
software to revolutionize the world of printing, we believed that there
was no possibility of patenting our work. That belief did not stop us
from creating that software, nor did it deter the savvy venture
capitalists who helped us with the early investment. We have done very
well despite our having no patents on our original work.
On the other hand, the emergence in recent years of patents on software
has hurt Adobe and the industry. A "patent litigation tax" is one
impediment to our financial health that our industry can ill-afford.
Resources that could have been used to further innovation have been
diverted to the patent problem. Engineers and scientists such as myself
who could have been creating new software instead are working on
analyzing patents, applying for patents and preparing defenses. Revenues
are being sunk into legal costs instead of into research and
development. It is clear to me that the Constitutional mandate to
promote progress in the useful arts is not served by the issuance of
patents on software.-- Douglas Brotz, Principal Scientist, Adobe
Systems, Inc.

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