Saturday, 14 October 2006

EPLA, SWPAT: Meeting to plan some action

In an article in yesterday's Süddeutsche Zeitung, an EU Commission source is mentioned as saying "it's unclear on whose mandate anti-software-patent campaigner Florian Müller is acting".

Allow me to clarify: On ours.

MySQL AB may be Florian's first and longest-running sponsor in the fight against software patents. However, financing Florian Müller's activities in the EU -- and on the national level in various European countries -- requires a broader group of European companies concerned about software patents in general, and the plans for an European Patent Litigation Agreement in particular. Amongst Florian's other sponsors, let me mention Germany's leading Internet provider 1&1 and Materna, a leading German software company in the ICT sector. All of the sponsors met today in Frankfurt at a management and partly even owner / board of director level.

Our cause is to establish a better patent regime in Europe. Over time, this regime will hopefully spread across the world. We want a competitive society and advocate a free market where innovators are allowed to learn from and even imitate ideas of others, but not to steal intellectual property. As we see it, economic growth, innovation, and employment are not served by today's patent system where pure software patents are being granted even in Europe.

Stay tuned for a call for actions for what small and medium size companies can do to constructively contribute to the political process of establishing a patent regime that truly stimulates innovation and competition. Most of today's incumbent players grew big in a world without software patents. Let them not raise entrance barriers now, by simply changing the rules of the game!

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