heretic108 asks: "I'm an open-source developer in a small western nation, which is slowly starting to take interest in Open Source, but whose (still MS-dominated) government is currently considering adopting a software patents regime similar to USA. This nation boasts a smart and feisty IT community, who have been terribly under-represented in government. I have a meeting in a week with a prominent member of the legislature (who has IT portfolio interests), during which I will have the opportunity to put the case against software patents. I'm asking for help in assembling information for use in the anti-patents case. Thank you dearly for any and all help you are able to provide here."
"I'm looking for references that cover the following subjects:
- Triviality of some patents
- Patents as anti-competitive instrument
- Patents' discriminatory nature - difficulty faced by smaller developers with patent enforcement
- Costs of patent searches, and their impact on the creative flow of software development
- Clear evidence that a software patents regime is squeezing small and independent players out of the industry and creating an oligopoly for the largest players
- Clear evidence that under the software patents regime, the entire 'space' or public commons of programming concepts is being subsumed into private ownership
- Clear evidence and examples of patent law being abused and having a net anti-innovation effect
- Anything else you have bookmarked, or can google upon, which can help build the most solid case.
(Also, if anyone can find the source of the quote attributed to Bill Gates arguing that the modern patents regime, if it existed decades ago, would have slowed the industry to a standstill).
Also very desirable will be testimonials from senior staff of small to medium R&D and body-shop houses, truthfully showing the negative effects patents have had on their ability to compete.
And, very importantly, any brief testimonials from indepenedant developers who have not intentionally stolen intellectual property, but have actually been squashed under patent laws."