Peter Lemenkov wrote: > Just for the record, AFAIK there are only two countries which allows > software patents - USA and South Korea.
That's not the whole story. The situation is quite weird in countries that have signed the European Patent Convention. The convention and the national laws all state clearly that computer programs are not patentable, and yet software patents are granted on a daily basis, justified with some irrational reasoning that makes sense only to mentally deranged patent lawyers and some gullible politicians. Tens of thousands of these illegal patents have been granted. Several years ago the patent lobby attempted to push through an EU directive to legalize software patents. The directive was eventally dropped after years of massive campaigning for and against, but that only means that the granting of illegal patents continues as before. Such a patent might not hold up in court if it were contested by a good lawyer and the judge had some basic understanding of how computers work, but that doesn't make the patents harmless. Due to the high cost and the uncertain outcome of a patent lawsuit, small companies often have no choice but to pay the license fees. Björn Persson
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