"In July 2005, after several failed attempts to legalise software patents in Europe, the patent establishment changed its strategy. Instead of explicitly seeking to sanction the patentability of software, they are now seeking to create a central European patent court, which would establish and enforce patentability rules in their favor, without any possibility of correction by competing courts or democratically elected legislators."

— Hartmut Pilch, Eupat: Patentability and Democracy in Europe

Software Patents stifle innovation

Four years ago the European Parliament stopped the attempt to make software patents enforcable in Europe. An unprecedented community effort made it possible with a relative low awareness about the dangers among larger software companies. Since then litigation and patent traps have become a serious problem for the market and users of software. We need to reduce patent risks which impede innovation and investment.

On a worldwide scale Patent Offices continue to grant these rights and do not reform their practice. They are facing a patent crisis caused by lowering standards and fail to cope with their examination backlog. In a patent office the main creativity shown is directed towards interpretation of their own legal base. Even without political support the patent community expands what can be made patentable through practice and case law. Though they face a groundswell of interest in stopping software patents their typical excuse is: "We don't grant software patents, we don't really know what software patents are." or "Why exclude software?" or "We just execute the law". Additionally they lobby legislators. It is upon democratic forces to bring bureaucracies back under control which live well off with their software patent regimes.

It is indispensible that the software community remains organised and responsive. We want to overcome the software patent crisis. We raise awareness about their devastating effects on the emerging information and knowlege society where software predominates and we make our constructive reform proposals heard. But without your support there would be no way to succeed. Rather the ongoing threads would aggravate.

What you can do

  1. Follow us on Twitter
  2. Please comment on our Draft World Petition, we also have regional petitions as the European one and will add others for the US and other core patent markets.
  3. Join our Facebook group and invite your friends to join the cause
  4. Put a banner on your website and help making new ones, or buy a T-shirt
  5. Join our discussions list

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FFII: World Day preparations #ssp09 - answer like your minister

September 24th software professionals around the world will celebrate the annual World Day against Software Patents. This year the Swedish EU Presidency happens to contributes a inister consultation to the #ssp09 celebrations with an aim to "[review] Community innovation policy in a changing world". — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 18 Sep 2009 19:15

IBM says software patents drive OSS development

In its Amicus Brief to the US Supreme Court on the Bilski case, IBM is arguing that "patent protection has promoted the free sharing of source code [...] which has fueled the explosive growth of open source software development." — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 18 Aug 2009 14:29

What's wrong with the United Patent Litigation System (UPLS)?

A journalist of WorldIPReview recently asked FFII what were its views of the proposed United Patent Litigation System (UPLS), which is now being questioned by the Council in a submission to the ECJ. FFII had already published a press release mentioning the new push for software patents in Europe via a centralised and trusted court. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 08 Jul 2009 12:01

The Bilski test was invented by IBM

By reading the Amicus Brief of IBM to the CAFC, it is pretty clear that the machine tranformation test which allows software patents and ban business method patents was invented by IBM lawyers. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 03 Jul 2009 09:02

USPTO refuses to disclose Bilski's pending patent application

The US Supreme Court will soon hear re:Bilski which has widely discussed implications for software and business method patenting in the US. Benjamin Henrion was trying to find out where the Bilski pending patent application was published, and he ended up writing to the new USPTO President David Kappos who came from IBM. He finally got an answer from an USPTO official: Bilski's pending patent application has to stay secret under US publication rules. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 22 Jun 2009 11:53

Patent expert Alison Crofts says EPLA is pushed by pro-software patents lobby

In its edition of IP Value 2007, the Intellectual Asset Magazine (IAM) was publishing an article about the Reform of European Patent System, where an expert mentions that the push for the EPLA is coming from the pro-software patents lobby. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 09 Jun 2009 10:51

European Patent Office refuses spanish amicus brief against software patents

Alberto Barrionuevo, CEO of the small spanish software company OpenTIA and ex-president of the FFII, had submitted an amicus brief to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in spanish. The European Patent Office has notified him that they are refusing his letter because it was not written in one of the 3 official languages of the EPO. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 04 Jun 2009 20:13

FFII: European Commission pushes for software patents via a trusted court

The European Commission is pushing for software patents via a centralised trusted patent court that would be created with the United Patent Litigation System (UPLS), an international treaty that would remove national courts. This court system would be shielded against any review by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Thus patent judges would have the last word on software patents. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 12 May 2009 09:17

Conference on "Make software patents work for SMEs"

The European Commission is organising a conference dedicated to "Make IPR work for SMEs" next Monday in Brussels. You can here submit your questions for next Monday on how to "Make software patents work for SMEs". — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 22 Apr 2009 11:53

Stallman: "The EPO is a corrupt and malicious organisation which should not exist"

Last Wednesday, farmers and software developers were demonstrating in Munich in front of the European Patent Office. Richard Stallman was describing the European Patent Office as a "corrupt and malicious organisation which should not exist". — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 20 Apr 2009 12:13

FFII and EPO announce "Binaries-As-Prior-Art"

Brussels & Munich, 1st April 2009 -- After years of confidential work, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) today announce a radical way to improve software patent quality: Binaries-As-Prior-Art, or BAPA. BAPA combines a database of billions of compiled computer programs ("binaries") with a powerful Cloud search engine that can find any invention in microseconds. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 01 Apr 2009 16:14

Commission says the Community Patent is all about Software Patents

The European Commission has issued a communication asking for the creation of the Community Patent in order for "ICT companies to protect their inventions in the single market". Large companies were rejecting the software patent directive, aiming to validate software patents via the Community Patent and skip the debate about patentable subject matter. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 18 Mar 2009 13:01

90% of companies suing Google are patent trolls

Google has published a statement on their Public Policy Blog stating that 90% of companies suing them for patent infringement were non practicing entities, or patent trolls. Google goes on by clarifying that in lots of cases, the patents are "invented" by the patent lawyers themselves. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 05 Mar 2009 16:57

"Council seeks to legalise software patents with the Community Patent" says French expert

The Council seeks to legalise software patents with the Community Patent, says Mr Pellegrini, ex-advisor of Michel Rocard, former MEP and rapporteur on the rejected software patent directive. The ultimate goal of this move is to create central caselaw on software patents by a specialized patent court. — Comments: 2 — by zoobabzoobab 11 Feb 2009 13:40

EPO lobbying for a Central Patent Court

The European Patent Office does not only grant software patents, it also lobbies the legislators to validate them through the creation of a central patent court. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 01 Dec 2008 13:42

Chocolate coins for EPO cash cow

Examiners of the European Patent Office have recently invaded one of the secret meetings of the Administrative Council with chocolate coins, pointing to the conflict of interests between the National Patent Offices (NPOs) and their appetite of "more patents, more money". — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 17 Nov 2008 13:13

Obama proposes patent reform

The new US-President wants to improve "predictability and clarity" in the patent system as well as "patent quality". His reforms would "reduce the uncertainty and wasteful litigation that is currently a significant drag on innovation" — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 07 Nov 2008 20:49

ACTA - fuel for patent trolls?

ACTA, a multi-lateral treaty currently being discussed secretly behind closed doors, might export the dangerous IPRED1 directive to the United States, which allow patent trolls in Europe to preventively freeze bank accounts of a company in case of "suspicion of infringement". — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 03 Nov 2008 09:22

German television 3sat has a reportage about software patents

German television 3sat has a reportage about software patents. A german programmer highlights that software patents ruin investment in software development. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 03 Nov 2008 09:13

USPTO does not like killing business method patents?

The New York Times has an article about the recent Bilski decision. The USPTO has requested a change in the title of the article. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 03 Nov 2008 00:09

Bilski not touching the issue of software patents

The decision on the Bilski case has been published by the specialized patent court in the US (CAFC - Court of Appeal of the Federal Circuit). The judges says that the Bilski case is not helpful to draw the line between what is patentable and what is not in the case of software patents. — Comments: 2 — by zoobabzoobab 30 Oct 2008 19:14

Bilski: Be prepared for huge lobbying in Congress?

The outcome of the Bilski case, which should be published in October, might invalidate software patents in the United States. If the CAFC are clever enough to follow the Supreme Court and kick software patents out, you might see the desperate large corporations and their patent department rushing to Congress. Especially if tomorrow the banks values their patent portfolio as void, and not useful to get any credit. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 08 Oct 2008 13:09

Will the patent system trigger financial collapse in 2008?

This was the title of an article written one year ago. Here is the end, which is happening nowadays: "What does this mean for the patent system? David Martin points out that three separate bubbles are about to pop at the same time: consumer debt, mortgage debt, and patent debt. Each of these bubbles will cause enormous damage to those institutions who were over-committed, and most certainly to those who helped create the bubble. The patent offices will not go unrewarded for helping to create another Great Depression, by printing trillions of Euro worth of funny money." — Comments: 5 — by zoobabzoobab 29 Sep 2008 17:22

StopSoftwarePatents wallpapers for your desktop background

Some german contributors sent us some nice SSP wallpapers for your desktop background. So that you remember that the issue of fighting software patents is a daily task. Enjoy! — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 27 Sep 2008 22:52

National Public Meeting on Software Patents in India (4th October, Bangalore)

Several organisations in Bangalore are organising a meeting to discuss the dubious plans of the Indian Patent Office to adopt the same infamous 'technical effect' doctrine of the EPO. The Indian patent law is a copy/paste from the European Patent Convention, containing the 'as such' provision. The Patent Office said it would organise a public meeting, but it seems that organisations prefer to organise their own meeting. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 27 Sep 2008 22:30

Netherlands Patent Office goes Open Source

Open Source is gaining ground in patent offices. For most patent technocrats "open source" is a synonym of "we don't want software patents". — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 26 Sep 2008 21:49

Microsoft wins against Alcatel-Lucent 457

Alcatel-Lucent again failed to enforce their Nr. 5,341,457, one of the patents they claim is related to MP3, against Microsoft. Thus Microsoft does not have to pay more than one billion. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 26 Sep 2008 10:01

Government in New Zealand pushes for Software Patents

The Government of New Zealand is proposing a set of amendments to the national patent law, none of them clearly mentions the exclusions of software from the field of patentability. The Government claims that Free Trade Agreements and other international treaties require software patents in New Zealand. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 24 Sep 2008 18:00

Adobe's position on software patents has changed?

The Adobe's position on software patents seems to have changed since 1994. Or maybe the current one is influenced by the patent department? — Comments: 2 — by zoobabzoobab 24 Sep 2008 13:10

Dr Flocke: "50% of the applications are made by only 3% of the applicants"

Half of the patent applications are filed by only 3% of the applicants. Which means that at least half of the patent applications are filed by large corporations. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 23 Sep 2008 18:38

"Alison demission" shout EPO examiners in Brussels

EPO examiners were asking for the demission of the President of the EPO, Alison Brimelow. Very vew examiners believes she is doing something to tackle quality problems of the EPO. EPO does not stand anymore for quality patents, but for progress (bars) and profit. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 23 Sep 2008 17:43

Bilski case for October

The Patently-O blog mentions that the judgment on the Bilski case will be published in October. Chief Judge Michel said: "I think it will be a very significant decision. It probably will have broader scope than either In re Comiskey or In re Nuijten". — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 23 Sep 2008 16:41

Conference Knowright2008: Software authors lost their rights

I was arguing at the recent Knowright2008 conference in Krakow (Poland) why software authors lost their rights with software patents. I was explaining why the Berne Convention which protects software under a copyright regime (for source code and binary code) does not give space for software patents. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 21 Sep 2008 14:59

Kiel Conference with talk about software "patent dirt"

It matters which sort of legal protection you take. Felix van Kourten argues why patent law suits software so badly and why we are better off with copyright law. Oct 10 he will speak at the Kiel Linux and Open Source Days. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 21 Sep 2008 03:11

McCain wants to hire Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer

The Daily Background has published an article mentioning that McCain wants to hire Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer. McCain is advised by ultra-pro software patents advocates, and he shows now that he is very close to large corporations. — Comments: 2 — by zoobabzoobab 20 Sep 2008 22:10

EPO examiners take the streets in Brussels asking to "Save the EPO"

On Thursday, 18 September 2008, staff members of the European Patent Office (EPO) demonstrated in Brussels for a reform of its supervisory board. Examiners are complaining about the broken governance of the Institution. Examiners do not trust neither members of the Administrative Council, neither their President Brimelow. A patent examiner confessed that most of them were against software patents but as civil servants they were not allowed to speak out publicly about their concerns. — Comments: 2 — by zoobabzoobab 19 Sep 2008 16:25

StopSoftwarePatents T-shirts arrive tomorrow

100 T-shirts with the Red Dove and the Stop Software Patents slogan arrive tomorrow at the Brussels office, so pre-order yours! The previous yellow one is a collector now. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 16 Sep 2008 06:24

EPO examiners do not trust Brimelow for her quality reforms

According to an EPO internal staff survey of June 2008, only 9% of the EPO examiners believes that "Brimelow and the Vice-Presidents actively promote patent quality". Brimelow is progressing, since Alain Pompidou, the former President, had a trust of only 7%. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 15 Sep 2008 11:48

Review of the National Innovation System in Australia

A report has been completed. It says, the inventive steps required to qualify for patents should be considerable, and the resulting patents must be well defined, as to mininise litigation and maximise the scope for subsequent innovators. In particular software and business method patenting is an Australian concern. — Comments: 0 — by arebentiarebenti 12 Sep 2008 12:04

Cisco: technology companies more often defendants in patent suits

Mark Chandler - senior vice president of legal services and general counsel of Cisco Systems - said that "technology companies all too often find themselves as defendants in patent suits". Is it a sign that software patents contribute negatively to the benefit balance of the patent system for software firms? — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 11 Sep 2008 09:39

BizJournals: McCain supports software patents

An article published in BizJournals.com mentions that McCain supports software patents. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 09 Sep 2008 14:50

Banners now available in French

Thanks to a french translator we have the banners available in French. You can also submit banners translated in your language and we will put them on the banners page. — Comments: 0 — by zoobabzoobab 09 Sep 2008 08:08

Examiners to demonstrate against broken governance of the EPO next 18th September in Brussels

Examiners of the European Patent Office will demonstrate against the broken governance of the Office next wednesday 18th September in Brussels. It seems that the management of the EPO is meeting in Brussels next 17th-19th September, probably behind closed doors, the EPO is such a transparent organisation. — Comments: 5 — by zoobabzoobab 08 Sep 2008 09:57

BSA lobbies Obama for software patents at the Democratic Convention in Denver

IP-watch tell us that BSA went to lobby Obama at the Democratic Convention in Denver with a list of principles, where the first one is "inspire creativity and innovation through strong, comprehensive, and enforceable intellectual property policies, including copyright, patent and trademark laws." Software patents are definitely on the top of the agenda of American multinationals. BSA does not has any small software company in its members, and Microsoft more active then the other members in using the association as a vector for its purposes. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 06 Sep 2008 06:48

Invite the European Patent Office examiners to join the cause!

A lot of examiners of the European Patent Office are present on Facebook. Invite them to join the cause! — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 05 Sep 2008 14:28

McCain senior advisor Carleton Fiorina

Carly Fiorina found that more patents mean more innovation, so she started patent inflation policy at HP. Now she advises McCain. — Comments: 1 — by arebentiarebenti 04 Sep 2008 22:05

AT&T patent perpetrator tries to censor a blogger about their "pursuit of more patents"

AT&T patent perpetrator tries to censor a blogger about their "pursuit of more patents". The blogger has published a picture of an advertisement poster paid by "AT&T Intellectual Property" sponsoring the Democratic National Convention in Denver last week. — Comments: 1 — by zoobabzoobab 04 Sep 2008 19:05

McCain advised by software patent & tobacco lobbyists?

McCain is advised by pro-software patent lobbyist Ray Gifford, ex-President of the Progress & Freedom Foundation (a Washington 'think-tank' notably financed by Microsoft lobby proxy CompTIA). Gifford was speaking in a conference Europe about the failed software patent directive with all the pro-software patent lobbyists. Progress & Freedom Foundation runs the IPCentral blog. — Comments: 3 — by zoobabzoobab 04 Sep 2008 16:15


A software patent is a right to litigate against authors of software granted to an applicant as a reward for the disclosure of hot air.


Total number of signatures: 1801

Most recent signatures:

  • Andrew Forsyth, United States, 30 Mar 2014 00:02
    Comments: CTO at Public Insight Corp.


"All computer programs have technical character in so far as they cause physical changes in the hardware." —IBM TBA EPO Decision T 1173/97

"Business methods patents and software patents are the most bogus invention of the legal community. They have no place in patent law." —Maynard G. Krebs, MichaelGeist: Canadian Patent Appeal Board Rules Against Business Method Patents

"BSA members continue to be the targets of patent-related lawsuits and demand letters from entities that make no products and have no intention of engaging in commerce. Our member companies are not the only ones targeted by these entities, and these lawsuits divert funds that would be better used for investment and job creation." —Business Software Alliance, BSA Applauds Senate Committee’s Passage of Patent Reform Bill

"Software patents have been nothing but trouble for innovation. We the software engineers know this, yet we actually have full-blown posters in our break-room showcasing the individual engineers who came up with something we were able to push through the USPTO. Individually, we pretty much all consider the software-patent showcase poster to be a colossal joke." —Kelledin, PLI: State Street Overruled... PERIOD

"Software patents are hindering innovation. Patents should be granted when there is real innovation and real investment in innovation." —Niklas Zennström, CEO, Skype, Silicon.com

"It is not the policy of the EPO to require or examine source codes […]. Moreover, given the length and complexity of source code listings, which can often stretch to hundreds of pages, it would be quite impossible to examine them." —European Patent Office brochure

"Developers need to be able to make and sell software without the threat of patent-related extortion. We must unite both proprietary and Open Source developers - who are equally at risk - to work for this cause, if we're to have a hope of being heard by legislators." —Bruce Perens, Analyzing Microsoft's TomTom Lawsuit

"Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?" —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

"The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation" —Pr Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate in Economics), IP-Watch

"Small enterprises generally adopt a rather negative position towards the current increasing granting of patents for software and algorithms because they fear that these will hamper or eventually even impede their work (more than 85%)." —German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Study of the Innovation Performance of German Software Companies, 2006, p. 86

"My message to the patent world is: Either get back to the doctrines of forces of nature or face the elimination of your system." —Hartmut Pilch, Paraflows 06

"From what I can see looking in from the outside what is going on is the major targets of patent trolls are sick and tired of getting sued by Niro and the other attorneys out there that represent those with patents that are perhaps of questionable integrity, but they really do not seem to have a plan on dealing with the so-called patent troll problem in any meaningful way." —IPWatchDog, Patent Troll Sues Google, Apple & Microsoft

"Plager said he regretted the unintended consequences of the decisions in State Street Bank and AT&T. Those rulings led to a flood of applications for software and business method patents, he noted. If we “rethink the breadth of patentable subject matter,” he said, we should ask whether these categories should be excluded from patent protection." —US. Senior Judge S. Jay Plager, speaking at a symposium at George Mason University

"Let me make my position on the patentability of software clear. I believe that software per se should not be allowed patent protection. […] We take this position because it is the best policy for maintaining a healthy software industry, where innovation can prosper." —Douglas Brotz, Adobe Systems, Inc.

"According to Software Magazine, last year we were the 92nd largest software company in the US. My perspective on software patents is simple: stop issuing software patents. Software patents should not exist." —Jerry Fiddler, Wind River Systems

"IBM is proud of its patent portfolio, and the fact that they produce patents at a rate of 10 a day. With such an extensive arsenal of patents, backed by unlimited legal funds – what chances are left for the VC backed company? This is like the US going to war against Micronesia." —Daniel Cohen, Gemini Israel Funds

"The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft. We had a problem with patent liability. All these people were coming to sue us or demand payment. And Bill (Gates) asked me to think about if there was a solution." —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures

"They [EPO examiners] claim that the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated." —Expatica, European Patent Office staff on strike

"The Company believes that existing copyright law and available trade secret protections, as opposed to patent law, are better suited to protecting computer software developments." —Oracle Corporation, IBiblio: Oracle Corporation's position paper on software patents

"Software patents harm the industry, with no corresponding benefit" —Adobe, Douglas Brotz, JamessHuggins: Adobe Systems Statement on Software Patents

"[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway", —Marshall Phelps, IAM: Microsoft to have 50,000 patents within two years, Phelps reveals

"Technology products typically consist of hundreds or thousands of patented components. It therefore is impossible for technology companies to investigate all of the patents, and pending patent applications that may be relevant to a new invention (product), notwithstanding their best efforts to do so." —Business Software Alliance, Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court in eBay Vs MercExchange

"On behalf of the Comptroller it is also said that it would be difficult for a third party to search for prior art programs. This is for two reasons. Firstly there is simply not a body of suitable literature about computer programs which can be searched. Secondly much of the prior art will consist of actual computer programs and the outsider will generally find it impossible to understand how these work without the source code – which is normally kept confidential." —UKIPO, Bailii: Symbian Limited and Comptroller General of Patents

"I remember clearly in 2005, we spent more money on patent disputes, patent fights then all our technology development put together." —Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom