As an independent software developer I am 100% opposed to software patents. Software patents are unlikely to help my business and are much more likely to be used against it by a multinational software company, or worse, a parasitic patent troll. Here are some basic objections to software patents:
- Unnecessary – software is already covered by copyright.
- Ineffective at promoting innovation. To the contrary, software patents seem primarily about shutting down competition. To see the impact of patents on innovation just observe the current smartphone patent wars. The associated litigation will not leave consumers better off or encourage innovation. We are better off without government-mandated monopolies on software ideas.
- Increase the legal risks for local software developers. Applying for and enforcing patents costs money and large corporations are much more capable of using the legal process to their advantage than smaller entities. Contrary to arguments sometimes made (often by large corporations), software patents don’t even things up for “the little guy”.
Here are some links with a local emphasis for further reading: