Patent infringement suit filed against Red Hat (No Lobbyists As Such)
Posted Jun 30, 2006 15:01 UTC (Fri) by MW-RH
Parent article: Patent infringement suit filed against Red Hat (No Lobbyists As Such)
I will leave it to others to understand Mr. Mueller's motivations for putting forth unverifiable statements as to my activities on July 4-5 of last year. What I am happy to share with you is the statement put out by Red Hat and Sun, which I spent much of the day on July 4, 2005, e-mailing to MEPs and which the FFII then helped us distribute on July 5. You can then draw your own conclusions as to the veracity of Mr. Mueller's statements. The Red Hat/Sun Position Statement:
"Red Hat and Sun believe that adoption of the Council Common Position on the CII Directive will seriously reduce competition in the software industry in Europe unless appropriately amended.
Red Hat is a small but fast-growing commercial open source software developer and leading publisher of Linux operating system software. Sun Microsystems is a leading computer hardware and software company that is dedicated to open source (e.g., Open Office and Open Solaris).
Open source developers are software innovators. They provide greater consumer choice and new products that are a real alternative to the proprietary software of dominant firms. The open source community is worldwide, but an estimated 60% of open source developers are based in Europe.
Those favouring patents on software maintain that software patents are necessary for innovation. There is not a single independent, empirical study that has found a correlation between software patents and innovation. Nor has a single major software company in the world gotten to its present market position because of software patents. Software patents are a relatively recent phenomenon, and they do not encourage innovation they facilitate the protection of acquired market share. Software patents do not induce innovation, they invite reduced competition.
A balanced CII Directive is necessary to remove uncertainty about the scope of patentability of computer implemented inventions in the EU. Software patent creep will chill open source software development. Europe must avoid the development of a situation like that in the US, where pure software and even business methods are patentable.
For these reasons, Red Hat and Sun urge you to support the 21 amendments tabled by the PSE Group, the GUE/NGL Group, the Verts/ALE Group, the IND/DEM Group, Ms Roithova/Mr Buzek and others and Mr Duff and others (amendment numbers 40 to 60=72 to 92=93 to 113=114 to 134=135 to 155=158 to 178). These amendments provide coherent and workable definitions of technical contribution and field of technology as well as eliminating patent claims for computer programs. They make it clear that software as such should not be patentable. They do not threaten the patentability of computer implemented inventions in the electro-technical field, for which the CII Directive was intended.
Red Hat and Sun further urge you to support amendment of the Common Position to guarantee interoperability. Support for the amendments on interoperability (amendment numbers 19 and 50=82=103=124=145=168) will provide a necessary safety net or insurance policy where the scope of a patent on a computer-implemented invention could be used to eliminate competition in the software sector. Again, such amendment does not threaten appropriate protection for electro-technical innovation.
An approach to interoperability based on a compulsory licence simply is not workable. It is not feasible for thousands of open source developers individually to seek and obtain licences. A compulsory licensing approach risks different interpretations in different Member States that would further fragment the internal market. Finally, technology obtained through a compulsory licence is encumbered by the licensing terms and cannot be further distributed as open source. For these reasons, Red Hat and Sun firmly oppose amendments number 25, 63, and 67.
In the event that our preferred interoperability amendments are not adopted, amendments number 68 to 70 could provide a viable compromise on interoperability. Red Hat and Sun urge you to vote for amendments 68 to 70 if our first choice amendments are not approved."
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