[kwlug-disc] Fwd: RE: intellectual property study

Chris Bruner cbruner at quadro.net
Wed May 16 18:40:07 EDT 2012

Well I've done all I can. I I guess because I don't live in that riding, 
IP stuff doesn't matter.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	RE: intellectual property study
Date: 	Wed, 16 May 2012 16:39:19 -0400
From: 	<peter.braid at parl.gc.ca>
To: 	<cbruner at quadro.net>

Good afternoon,

On behalf of the office, we appreciate you taking the time to contact us. However, due to the high volume of correspondence we receive, we give priority in responses to those who are constituents within our riding. If you could provide us with your home address, we would be happy to look into this issue for you.


The Office of Peter Braid, M.P.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Bruner [mailto:cbruner at quadro.net]
Sent: May-15-12 5:42 PM
To: peter at peterbraid.ca
Subject: intellectual property study

Hello Peter,
I saw you are launching a "undertake a study of the effectiveness of the current intellectual property regime in Canada, which will include the important role of intellectual property in fostering Canadian innovation and leading edge technology. "

I think it's a good idea, to review this as companies like RIM have lost
millions(billions?) due to software patents, which as most software engineers know, are a scourge on the industry. I've been a professional programmer for the last 30 years, and although I've never been directly involved with software patent litigation it's always been in the back of my mind. It limits what libraries I use, and in some cases even what algorithms I implement. This is even in cases where companies have openly stated they will not enforce their patents, because companies change their minds or get bought by more aggressive companies. (See Sun and Oracle for example).

Because of software patents the whole industry has been slowed compared to what it could have been. Do you recall the patent on the gif picture format? It caused problems on the web for years until the patent expired, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gif#Unisys_and_LZW_patent_enforcement. And there are thousands of examples where a technology which was good was ignored because of patent concerns.

Software patents hurt the whole industry. Some people will claim that companies like Rim need the patents in order to protect themselves. I ask you, has Rim gained or lost money due to patents?

In my view software patents should be strictly limited to mechanical implementations, not electronic, or in other words eliminated all together.

I understand that dropping software patents in Canada will not
(immediately) affect patents in other countries. I also understand that the pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in keeping software patents around, because genes can be viewed as little processors running programs. This is a very scary thought isn't it? Your body has genes, genes can be patented, a person's genes or some sub-operation on the genes can be patented? Software patents allow the patenting of things FAR beyond the scope of what is effecting, worthwhile or even moral.

Chris Bruner

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