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Munich / EU Patents

The Register reported that Munich corporation was intending to go ahead with their open source change over:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/08/12/munich_oss_still_on/

My personal feeling is that it would be counter productive for a company having anything other than a cast iron patent to sue a tier of government. It's one thing pursuing (small to medium) companies, but quite another to take on some one with such large resources as a city the size of Munich. I feel quite sure that the effect would be to rally the European open source movement to find any prior art or other imperfection that would overturn the patent, which would in turn impact upon maintaining/defending the patent in other jurisdiction where it might be more profitable (i.e. the US).

Does anyone have any thoughts on the domino effect of overturning a patent in one jurisdiction or the relative value (in terms of recoverable damages) of actions on either side of the pond?

David Roper
Thursday, August 12, 2004

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