Against Software Patents in the Philippines sign now

We, the undersigned, are voters and concerned citizens involved in the Philippine IT industry who believe that software patents will stifle innovation in the software industry and restrict computer users unfairly.

We have seen that many software patents covering well-known algorithms and techniques hinder the software industry around the world, such as in the U.S. The U.S. Patent Office, for example, has shown that it does not understand software and cannot follow developments in the field, and frequently issues patents on well-known techniques and on simple ideas that programmers consider obvious. The causes of this are inherent in the nature of the software field and cannot be corrected.

It is now our grave concern that the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is headed in the direction of recommending the establishment of software patent laws in the Philippines.

Due to the incremental nature of software development, where developers add to the work of those that went before, patents covering software techniques are an obstacle to progress in software. Programmers, in the course of doing their job, search for solutions to the problem at hand and are only impeded by software patents which threaten them or their employers with litigation. The ultimate impact of software patents is to slow innovation, rather than to promote it and therefore contradicts the stated purpose of the patent laws.

Never before has an industry where copyright was widely established had patents imposed on it. Software patents increase the cost of doing business in the software industry, which will make it difficult for smaller companies and individual developers to operate.

In practice, patents in most other fields usually affect only factories, but patents that apply to software tie the hands of every computer user. Only a tremendous public benefit could justify this imposition, but the actual effect of software patents is harmful.

For the good of the software industry and computer users both, we call for the following:

1. That our lawmakers, government officials, and their respective agencies
reject any attempt to impose software patents in the Philippines;

2. That, if deemed necessary, our national and local legislative bodies
pass explicit laws and/or ordinances to exclude software
implementations running on general purpose computer hardware from the
coverage of any patent.

Please see the following links for more information:

http://www2.linuxjournal.com/articles/currents/003.html
http://users.erols.com/gcasamen/software-patents
http://antipatents.8m.com/software-patents.html
http://www.researchoninnovation.org/patent.pdf

NOTE: The text of this petition is taken from an earlier petition that was limited to US voters in order to have the maximum effect in the United States. If software patents are a problem in your country, the original authors have granted explicit permission to use the text of their petition to start a petition for your country. You may also do the same with the text of this petition. The text of the original petition may be viewed at:

http://www.petitiononline.com/pasp01/petition.html

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Ashley CoffeyBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
The Philippine Government

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