Flaws on software patents have come to light once again as industry groups and analysts renewed calls for reforms on software patent systems worldwide, saying the process should promote, rather than impede, innovation.
A European Commission report into intellectual property issues in the IT industry has been criticized by patent campaigners as a "mockery and an insult." The report, "Fostering the Competitiveness of Europe's ICT Industry", is the result of nearly five months of work by a taskforce formed in July, which included Microsoft, IBM, SAP and other large IT companies, as well as some smaller firms. Among other recommendations, it calls for a lower-cost, more unified patent system for Europe's IT industry.
If there were any lingering doubts that we are in the post-PC era, several big stories this year should have cleared them up. The sale of IBM Corp.'s PC business to China's Lenovo Group Ltd., and the death of Comdex, were powerful reminders that IT is in a transitional stage.
A controversial draft directive on software patents could be headed for a vote this year after all, with the news it could be approved by experts from the Environment or Agriculture and Fisheries Councils.
Three prominent open source software developers, including Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, have issued a statement urging the European Union Council to reject proposed legislation that would codify the practice of granting software patents in the E.U.
A clash between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers over the European Union (E.U.) software patents directive looks almost certain after the assembly chose an outspoken opponent of the legislation to draw up its response to the Council.