Police raid not about software patents
Posted Mar 14, 2008 0:52 UTC (Fri) by stuart_hc
In reply to: Police raid not about software patents
Parent article: Some topics related to MP3 players
Article 52 of the European Patent Convention's exclusion of "programs for computers" includes the "as such" qualification. In practice (rightly or wrongly), this has allowed European patent offices to grant patents on devices which include software as a component of the physical "invention".
My point was that this situation is still very different to the US and contrary to the article's assertion that Europe is in the same unfortunate situation. In Europe we can still safely develop and distribute software which implements MP3 audio, MPEG-2 video and other codecs since the software is clearly a "program for computers ... as such". It's no coincidence that some of the most aggressively patented areas of human endeavor have actively developed free software implementations safely hosted in Europe (x264, FAAC, FFmpeg).
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