ElectUkLib0405En

UK Liberal Democrat MEP Candidates and Software Patents

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The Position of the national UK LibDems is defined as follows from their policy paper 54: "Making IT Work - Policies for Information Technology"

2.2.5 We do not believe that the citizen as consumer will be well served if a wholesale failure in the copyright system leads to a drying up of creativity as the financial incentives disappear. But we also recognize that there are circumstances in which protection systems can have thecontrary effect of stifling creativity against the public interest. We are especially concerned about the use of patents in the area of computer software in this respect.

2.2.6 There are usually many ways to achieve the same objective using computer code. The public benefits from the fact that different teams of programmers will work on solving problems and release their separate solutions as competitors in the market.

The specific code each team has written is protected by copyright.

Allowing a wide definition of inventiveness for patents in the field of software could lead to a reduction in this creative activity. This might be justifiable if there were evidence that the software industry as a whole were suffering because of an inability to secure revenue for research and development but there is no evidence that this is the case as the sector remains vibrant and growing.

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