Here is a text that I've just written in support of the latest campaign against software patents
At Nuxeo, we are developing, with other european and non-european
companies, world-class software in the field of Enterprise Content
Management (ECM), a field currently dominated by american companies like
Documentum, OpenText, IBM or Microsoft. These companies own a certain
amount of patents that may or may not cover parts of what we are doing with
our software, and may or may not be "bogus" patents, i.e. patents that
would be invalidated by prior art. Finding out the patents that we may
infringe upon, and and then trying to find evidence of prior art, would
however take us so much of our own time, and of outside experts fees, that
it would probably stop us from keeping innovating and distract a lot of our
energy from our customers projects.
On our latest project, we have calculated that all the checks, audits and
insurance fees needed to cover some of legal risk would amount to
increasing our costs by 30 to 50%, with absolutely no benefits in terms of
added value for our customers.
So, if these american companies are allowed to extend their software
patents on the european territory, and since we are gaining market share at
their expense, we are almost certain that they will use their patent
portfolio against us in order to try to regain their market position.
We strongly believe that our situation is not an exception, but rather the
general case, and that all european software companies have a lot to lose
if the Software Patents Directive is adopted in its current state.
(Added at 17pm) My testimony is
now online on the Economic
Majority site, alongside other fine people like Pierre Haren
(Ilog) or Håkon
Wium Lie (Opera).