As the fight against European software patents heats up, we can find a lot of opinions about the subject. We have irony-filled pieces, like the one where Richard Stallman calls Bill Gates a communist. Then witness this debate between Karl Lenz and Alex Horns. The arguments are not about the law, which is clearly not in favour of software patents, but about protectionism and economics and the “declining European industry”.

Funny that. Europe’s manufacturing is in decline, mostly fuelled by the low dollar and some restrictive labour regulation, not because of the European patent system, which is one of the most sensible around. The knowledge economy in Europe is not declining, it is vibrant and full of innovation. This is why the supporters of software patents have to offer preposterous arguments claiming that the system is not working when it clearly is. So what if the American patent system has gone absolutely crazy? We should not follow them and copy their bloated and failing patent system. The only people set to win from software patents are patent lawyers.


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