Subject: Re: [Freesw]
From: PILCH Hartmut <>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 08:02:39 +0200 (CEST)

> Richard Stallman <> wrote:
>     It is useful for us to have the ability to search the database for
>     that purpose.  But why offer the facility to possible patent
>     applicants?

> why not? as i see it, not only are patents going to exist well into
> the future, and continue to be a driving force in business and
> creative enterprises, but they are, at heart, a good thing.  It would
> be nice to turn back the clock to when patents and IP law was good and
> fair, but we must also consider that the world today couldn't handle
> the patent system of old (or the other way around, however you want to
> look at it).

Exactly this is our problem.  We have within our community a lot of people
who have illusions about patents and have not read the literature about
the patent system that we have meanwhile accumulated.  Some of these
people are continuously trying to lure us into working for their dream of
making the patent system work.

see,, etc

Just some short phrases

- the patent movement was a movement of lawyers against economists
- patents are not a driving force in creative enterprises, except in
  very few industries such as pharmacy
- the patent system has never worked.
- there is plenty of incentive to innovate without the patent system
- the patent system cannot handle the problem of obviousness
- patents on information (logical causality) are much worse than those on
  matter (physical causality) -- the bad effects of monopolism nowhere
  near to balanced to any incentives of innovation

> the next best thing IMO is to openly allow patent applicants to easily
> search prior art/past patents. the one thing that needs to be changed
> is to allow these patent applications to be accepted more often. this
> may seems strange, possibly insane, but as i see it, lots of patents,
> patents that only differ from each other in slight, yet effective,
> ways. having lots of monopoly patents in a related field is the next
> best thing to no monopoly patents at all, correct?
> much better than the status quo, where the powerful effectively rule
> over *entire concepts* with the government's blessings.

lots of patents means that lots of patents rule entire concepts. The
number doesn't weaken any of them.  It just means that writing free
software becomese illegal and all we can hope for is that there is enough
legal insecurity.  But to foster that legal insecurity, we need to have
disparate prior art.  Please see again

Hartmut Pilch
Federation for a Free Information Infrastructure
For a software patent free Europe PLEASE SIGN