A UK LAWYER has lambasted Linus Torvalds and others who have attacked the European Union proposed directive on software patents.

John Collins, a partner at UK firm Marks and Clerk said: "Torvalds and his supporters lack a fundamental understanding of intellectual property rights as they seem to be unaware that copyright can only protect software code and not software".

Collins is reacting to recent statements by Torvalds and others in what the law firm describes as "the latest attempts" to scupper the directive.

He claims that open source developers and the Polish government are misinforming the IT industry and "serving only to endanger genuine inventions".

He said: “Linus Torvalds (creator of Linux) has recently made a statement claiming that the Directive would broaden the area in which patents would be granted. This is simply a false assumption. The original proposal was solely designed to clarify and unify existing practice in the EU. However the current version – as a result of amendments made by the European Parliament – will result in patent holders in certain areas losing a significant element of protection meaning that some existing patents will become worthless.”

The lawyers claim that the directive was originally proposed to provide "uniformity" in the European Union and to ensure that all member states took the same approach to the patentability of software inventions.

"We should not allow this objective to be undermined," said Collins. Innovators need to be certain their patents are valid throughout the European Union.

Marks & Clerk describes itself as "the UK's leading firm of patent and trade mark attorneys". The statement was sent to us by the firm's public relations agency, Marketforce Communications.

Source: The Inquirer
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