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Conference re-considers software patents

Oct 17, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) and the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) are co-sponsoring a conference to discuss the impact of software patents on software development, innovation, and competition. Entitled “Software Patents: A Time for Change?,” the conference is set for Nov. 17, at Boston University.

According to PUBPAT and the SFLC, the specialized patent court of appeals in the U.S. has “removed virtually all limits to patentable subject matter” over the last few decades, resulting in hundreds of thousands of software patents. The conference aims to provide a forum for consideration of the growing body of research on the effects of allowing software patents, and the implications of this research for software patent policy, organizers say.

Opening conference remarks will be made by Dan Ravicher, executive editor of PUBPAT. Ravicher stated, “Over time, it has become increasingly clear that software patents actually hinder — rather than promote — innovation. A reevaluation of the consequences of software patents here in America is long overdue.”

Along with PUBPAT and the SFLC, additional conference participants include:

Additionally, representatives of eBay, Red Hat, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the World Wide Web Consortium are expected to participate.

The conference is open to the public, with registration priced at $35 per person, or $20 for students. Additional details can be found here.

The SFLC was founded in February of 2005, with help from the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs).

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