In the debate on software patenting, there is one point on which almost everyone is agreed: the current system is not working well. How to solve the problem and fix the system is where opinions tend to diverge.
The latest attempt to find a new way forward comes from the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII).
"The patent system, both globally and in Europe, is under serious stress," FFII president Pieter Hintjens said. "The unrestricted expansion of patentability into non-traditional areas together with the rising flood of poorly granted 'soft' patents in biotech, pharma, and software have throttled innovation. Something must change."
He argued that the European EPLA proposal, to standardise litigation procedures across Europe, will merely consolidate the system he sees as broken.
"So, we have launched the European Patent Conference, a gathering of...economists, lawyers, and industry experts. We will look at the patent system, we will build proposals for change, and we will work to get those changes implemented."
Long time anti-software patent campaigners, the FFII is planning a series of meetings to debate the issues and discuss solutions.
The first will be held in Munich on 25 November, followed by a second meeting in Brussels on 24 January. A larger event is also being planned for some time in May 2007, the FFII says.
See here for more details. ®