What is this all about software patents? Imagine that someone owned a patent giving them the exlusive right to know How to make a piece of toast, or how to lock a front door. Everytime you did one of these simple actions, you risk being sued and forced to pay huge damages for patent violation. Read this excellent summary talk to find out more. Or see the very useful No Software Patents! site.


Imagine that someone owned a patent giving them the exlusive right to know how to make a piece of toast, or how to lock a front door. Everytime you did one of these simple actions, you risk being sued and forced to pay huge damages for patent violation. In the world of software developers, this absurd situation is about to become a reality.

The Public Whip is threatened by a proposed EU software patents directive. Many software patents are passed even though the "inventions" are obvious to anyone who can program, and even when there is prior art. The EU directive will stifle innovation in software and destroy businesses. Organisations will no longer own the software that they write. Instead some corporations will collect trivial patents and charge for them, while doing no useful work.

The Public Whip depends on our freedom to write software

Information and updates on the situation:

The Anatomy of a Trivial Patent
Latest News on Software Patents

What you can do

The Public Whip is a project to watch Members of the United Kingdom Parliament, so that the public (people like us) can better influence their voting patterns.