[Forum] [Fwd: Let the EC know what you think about software patents]

From: Svend Erik Venstrup - Nielsen <venstrup@mail1.stofanet.dk>
Date: Tue Nov 14 2000 - 11:47:40 CET

attached mail follows:

Dear Sir,
Dear Madam,

The European Commission is currently researching the economic impact of
software patents. For quite obvious reasons, many patent attorneys and
IP lawyers who earn money through the patent system are currently lobbying
the European Commission in favor of a broad extension of the patent system
to software, business methods, intellectual methods, etc.

Unless you express your own opinion, only their opinion will be taken into
account in the decision process, whatever the consequences on your business,
whatever the consequences on innovation.

It is therefore very important and urgent, if you consider software patents
to be more harmful than useful, to send your opinion by email to:


as soon as possible and, in any case, before December 15th, 2000. You
can write in the official language of any member country of the European

Your email will then be forwarded to the European Commission and published on
the EuroLinux Web in order to make sure that your point of view is taken into


There is currently a consensus among economists on the fact that software
patents tend to stifle innovation and harm small and medium enterprises
because they create tremendous juridical uncertainty which only benefits to
patent attorneys and lawyers. There is also a consensus among patent
attorneys on the fact that patents on business methods are just a kind of
software patents and that it is impossible to ban business method patents
once software patents become legal.

Please write serious (but not necessarily long) emails, with a consistent
analysis based on economics, technology or real world examples from your
everyday practice. Here are a few advice for your email to reach maximal impact
within the European Commission:

        1- NO POLITICS - Do not include in your emails any political analysis.
Otherwise, certain civil servants at the European Commission will pretend that
you are politically biased and claim that your arguments are irrelevant.

        2- FREE MARKET RHETORICS - Use rhetorics based on free market,
competition, innovation, entrepreneurship, SMEs and property, just as if you
were the chief of the federation of enterprises in your country. EuroLinux has
experienced that "free market economy" is currently the only common language
which most civil servants at the European Commission understand. In order to
let them understand your point of view and take it into account, it is
compulsory to speak their language. Arguments based on epistemology, ethics or
history are acceptable but have in general no positive impact on the European
Commission because only few people will understand them.

        3- DAVOS COMPATIBLE - Imagine that you are introducing your point of
view at the Davos Economic Forum in front of CEOs who will only listen to you
if your arguments mean more profits to them. Incidentally, many Commissioners
at the European Commission used to be members of the steering committee of the
Davos Economic Forum.

        4- CONSENSUS AMONG ECONOMISTS - Always mention that there is a
consensus among economists on the fact that software patents harm innovation.

Please understand that our advice does not represent any political point of
view of the EuroLinux Alliance and is strictly designed at helping you to
present your arguments in such way that they are going to be taken into
account by the European Commission.

For more information on software patents, please read our knowledge
database and follow the links:


If you need inspiration to write your own statement, you may also access our
statements database where 100 European companies have already published
position statements:


Best regards,

EuroLinux Alliance
Received on Tue Nov 14 11:40:45 2000

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