FSFE statement at WIPO SCP/13 re/exceptions and limitations

[PDF version]

STATEMENT BY THE

FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION EUROPE (FSFE)

TO THE 13th SESSION OF THE

STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE LAW OF PATENTS (SCP)

(Geneva, 23-27 March 2009)

Mr Chairman,

FSFE joins other speakers in congratulating you on the honour of chairing this most important session of the SCP. We would also like to extend our congratulations to the secretariat, which has provided us with several very informative studies on four essential areas for the effectiveness of WIPO’s work. We believe these studies provide an excellent starting point for the discussion and should be maintained as living documents that can accompany our debates and act as backdrop for the future action discussion.

Referring to document SCP/12/3, the report on the international patent system, FSFE believes that its systematic considerations should be taken into account for and put in perspective to the reports. In particular the economic rationale for the patent system should be taken into account and reflected for the considerations of document SCP/13/3, the report on exclusions from patentable subject matter and exceptions and limitations to the rights.

In our view, the rationale for exceptions and limitations should loosely be based on the ancient wisdom of “primum non nocere”, the knowledge that action can be more harmful than inaction, that inclusion of an area in the patent system can result in less innovation than its exclusion. It should be the overarching principle for this SCP to maximise innovation, and the economic rationale for patenting provides us with the background to understand when we would be well advised to follow this principle and avoid regulation through patents.

As highlighted in document SCP/12/3, the economic rationale for patents is based on providing incentives in cases of market failure, disclosure of knowledge in the public domain, as well as technology transfer, commercialisation, and diffusion of knowledge. The “three step test for inclusion in the patent system” should therefore be based on demonstrated market failure to provide innovation, demonstrated positive disclosure from patenting, and effectiveness of the patent system in the area to disseminate knowledge. Software fails all three tests, for instance, as innovation in the IT industry has been dramatic before the introduction of patents, there is no disclosure value in software patents, and patents play no role in the diffusion of knowledge about software development.

FSFE understands that the secretariat worked hard to provide a conclusive report on the issues according to its mandate to provide a report on exceptions and limitations. Unfortunately the result is a report in which some exceptions from the patent system have been excepted, specifically cases where the exception from the patent system is based on a different view of patentable subject matter, such as software under article 52 of the European Patent Convention.

In order to provide an overview of the area covered by patents and the exceptions to that coverage, we submit that member states could mandate the secretariat to also provide an overview over the differences in patentable subject matter and reasons therefore, and combine it with the existing SCP/13/3 to provide a comprehensive overview.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

— Statement by Georg C. F. Greve, Free Software Foundation Europe, President

Be Sociable, Share!

About Georg Greve

Georg Greve is a technologist and entrepreneur. Background as a software developer and physicist. Head of product development and Chairman at Vereign AG. Founding president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). Previously president and CEO at Kolab Systems AG, a Swiss Open Source ISV. In 2009 Georg was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to Open Source and Open Standards.
This entry was posted in United Nations, WIPO and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to FSFE statement at WIPO SCP/13 re/exceptions and limitations

  1. DanielHeller says:

    I have seen and read out all pages as well as all articles and I have just one thing find out is article comment section is very spammy and harmful for your web. so I have to suggest one idea you will write up the custom essay service and also write up the guideline of comment. It’s very important for your blog section.

  2. It is a great read. Just loved the way you said this amazing thing.

    http://lastsheltersurvival.chattahoocheeriverwarden.org/

  3. Yes the need of an overview is important when it comes to consider the patentable subject matter.

  4. Very Helpful Information, I like it Very Much..

  5. Very Helpful Information, I like it Very Much.. Thanks for this post

  6. Very Helpful Information, I like it Very Much.. Thanks for this post
    Roku Customer Care Number

  7. Get the assistance of a worker at the gaming store when you are trying to pick games you might enjoy. Most people have genres that they find appealing, yet are not aware of the newest offerings. They’ve played them all and will know the titles you seek.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree