League for Programming Freedom


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The League for Programming Freedom is an organization that opposes software patents and user interface copyrights.


  • 2008-02-15: Patentability Of Business Model And Software Patents Comes Under Court Scrutiny (techdirt.com): "[the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit] has agreed to a full court hearing to examine the scope of what can be patented. [...] Going back on the earlier State Street ruling could effectively knock out many business model patents and software patents"
  • 2008-01-29: Software patent case defendant seeks support of FOSS community (Linux.com): "Barracuda Networks is actively seeking the support of the free and open source software (FOSS) community in its battle against a patent suit brought against it by Trend Micro. The suit revolves around Barracuda's distribution of Clam Antivirus (ClamAV), the well-known FOSS security software, with its firewall and Web filter hardware appliances."
  • 2008-01-23: FTC & Negotiated Data Solutions (GTW Associates): "The Federal Trade Commission on January 23, 2008 announced a complaint and settlement with Negotiated Data Solutions LLC (N-Data), which allegedly violated federal law by engaging in unfair methods of competition and unfair acts or practices regarding its enforcement of certain patents against makers of equipment employing Ethernet, a computer networking standard used in nearly every computer sold in the U.S. The FTC contended that N-data refused to meet a commitment made by a former owner of the patent to license the patent covering the 'Ethernet' Standard Used in Virtually All Personal Computers in U.S."
  • 2007-10-16: Amazon One-Click Patent Rejected by US Patent Office (IGDMLGD): "In a recent office action, the USPTO has rejected the claims of the Amazon.com one-click patent following the re-examination request that I filed on 16 February 2006. My review resulted in the broadest claims of the patent being ruled invalid."
  • 2007-10-05: Court Puts Further Limits on Software Patents (Slashdot / The Wall Street Journal): "The court found that 'The routine addition of modern electronics to an otherwise unpatentable invention' isn't enough to get over the 'non-obvious' hurdle that every patent is supposed to clear. This is a huge step in the right direction and one of the first admissions from the court system that perhaps software and business model patents have gone too far."

The webmaster for this site (Pierre Sarrazin) can be contacted at sarrazip at sarrazip dot com (in English or French).

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure is an active European site that opposes software patents.

Clause 8 of Section 8 of Article 1 of the Unites States Constitution:

[The Congress shall have Power] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Against Software Patents

The League for Programming Freedom
February 28, 1991

Software patents threaten to devastate America's computer industry. Patents granted in the past decade are now being used to attack companies such as the Lotus Development Corporation for selling programs that they have independently developed. Soon new companies will often be barred from the software arena--most major programs will require licenses for dozens of patents, and this will make them infeasible. This problem has only one solution: software patents must be eliminated.

Table of Contents:

  1. The Patent System and Computer Programs
  2. Absurd Patents
  3. What Is "Obvious"?
  4. Patenting What Is Too Obvious to Publish
  5. Why Software Is Different
  6. The Danger of a Lawsuit
  7. Patent Searches Are Prohibitively Expensive
  8. Patent Searches Are Unreliable
  9. Obscure Patents
  10. Patent Licensing Has Problems, Too
  11. The Fundamental Question
  12. In Software, Independent Reinvention Is Commonplace
  13. Overemphasis of Inventions
  14. Impeding Innovation
  15. Could Patents Ever Be Beneficial?
  16. Software Patents Are Legally Questionable
  17. One Way to Eliminate Software Patents
  18. What You Can Do
  19. Fighting Patents One by One
  20. Conclusion

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