Questioning the parties about Software Patents (03 Jun 2004)

Since the European elections are coming up on June 10th I decided to ring round and ask some of the parties about their policy on software patents.

  • Greens: Firmly against as a general policy (the person I spoke to didn't know any details). Sent me an email with these links. "the Green Party is against the idea of extending patents to software"
  • Lib Dems: First person I rung had no idea what I was talking about. Gave me a foreign number with a very knowledgeable person on the end. Basically they want a clearer law (were unhappy that the current law was being too widely interpreted) and wish to `strike a balance'. Were clear that the US system was flawed and that the patent office was overworked. But still believed that small business needed to be able to hold patents on inventions (inc software).
  • Conservatives: Bounced twice till someone could answer the question and even then they just read out a prepared statement. There was little point in questioning as the poor guy didn't have a clue what he was talking about. The statement basically said that they were unhappy with the current state of play because they wanted more patents, though they recognise the the US system is out of balance etc.