The Association for Free Software

Opposition to Software Patents

The European Patent Office has been encouraged to offer patents on software inventions in recent years, even though this is clearly forbidden by the European Patent Convention. The Association For Free Software is primarily concerned because the ability to patent software will prevent people solving problems with free software, and additionally that this is bad news for the software industry as a whole.

The patent situation is changing rapidly at the moment, with a proposed directive in the EU process. For the latest news and to find out what to do now, we recommend the FFII-UK website.

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New Information Site

A site that attempts to gently introduce the UK reader to the problems of software patents is Alex Hudson's UK Resource on Software Patents. It isn't specifically about Free Software, but does give good examples of how damaging patents could be for the Free Software community and IT in general.

Some pre-election background information on UK MEP views about software patents is collected at MJ Ray's euroVote.

A cross-Europe view is taken by our associate FSF Europe. The EuroLinux Alliance site has more introductory material. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) swpat site has a large library of detailed information.

If you are interested in campaigning against the imposition of software patents on the UK (and across Europe), please contact us.

The Association For Free Software