Open source gets act together over Euro patent law

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Open source gets act together over Euro patent law

The Open Source Consortium (OSC) has set up a taskforce to investigate the implications for open source technology of a change in European patent law and to provide a cohesive response to the current debate.

Mark Taylor, executive director of the OSC and taskforce head, said, “There has been a great deal of noise recently about the IP and patent law issues on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the most pressing issue is the prospect of a change in current European law.

“Much of the opinion generated to date by the stakeholders of the open source movement has been atomistic and unco-ordinated. However, there does seem to be an emerging trend that strong European patent laws, far from protecting innovators, will in fact emasculate the development of open source technology. Indeed, one has to face the prospect of a market mired in litigation for years.

“On the other hand, there does seem to be fairly strong support for protection of intellectual property as a concept and a right.

“It seems timely therefore that the OSC should now serve as a fulcrum for action by providing a unified, cohesive approach that identifies and campaigns for the best interests of the open source movement.”

The members of the taskforce have been drawn from industry, government and the open source community across Europe, with additional support from specialist lawyers.

The aim is to establish a substantive consultation process to provide an in-depth dialogue with open source stakeholders. The taskforce will poll opinion from domestic and European government contacts already represented on the OSC committee, together with the OSC’s corporate network and those members of the open source community actively involved in deploying leading enterprise-ready projects.

The OSC is Europe's independent "proprietary vendor-free" voice for organisations deploying or contemplating open source applications. 

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