Stallman storms in on Oz software patent conflab

Sharp implements advised

GNU founder and free software mouthpiece Richard Stallman reportedly gatecrashed a European Patent Office meeting in Brisbane, Australia today.

Stallman, who is in Oz to talk at the World Computer Congress, turned up with a placard that read: "Don't get caught in software patent thickets," reported iTnews.

European patent officer Ralf Abbing, who during his presentation spoke about computer tech and how it relates to Intellectual Property issues, was briefly interrupted by Stallman.

Abbing set out the requirements for software applications, as directed under the European Patent Convention (EPC), which he described as having "a very narrow interpretation."

His talk came as the Australian Advisory Council on IP is in the process of putting together a patent report that will be released early next year.

Stallman claimed that the European Patent Office (EPO) was lobbying for software patents in Oz.

"We're here at the World Computer Congress and what I've discovered is that the European Patent Office is here to campaign in favour of software patents in Australia," he told iTNews.

"You can be sure that if Australia allows software patents, almost all the patents will belong to foreigners and will give them the opportunity to sue Australians.

"There's no problem that requires a solution with anything like software patents. Without software patents... neither of us would get sued by the various patent troll companies whose sole business is collecting patents so that they could go threaten people." ®

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