UKIP bashes software patents

Summary:Minus Robert Kilroy-Silk, the UK Independence Party is lashing out at the EU, Labour, the Conservatives...

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has slammed those pushing for software patents in the European Union.

Two days before the UK's general election, UKIP also attacked rival political parties for failing to understand the software patent issue, and the damage it claims they could cause.

An emailed statement from the company said: "Software patents stifle innovation, unfairly favour big business, and curtail the rights and freedoms of individual computer programmers. Software patents can be used a tool to restrict freedom of ideas and freedom of expression. As a strong supporter of civil liberties and freedom of speech, this party could never support the introduction of such measures."

"All three major UK political parties have yet to make a stand against the introduction of software patents. They're asleep on the job as our liberties trickle away."

UKIP, which claims to use open source software in its Birmingham head office, said it would fight any attempt by the EU to pass the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive — a law that many say would allow the widespread patenting of software in Europe. It congratulated governments in Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, Lativia, and the Netherlands for opposing the directive.

"If the legislation is passed, the only way to prevent the introduction of software patents in the UK would be to leave the European Union — a course of action that only UKIP favours."

No Labour or Conservative MPs were available to comment on the matter, however when asked about software patents and the EU, a Labour telephone assistant said, "There is an election going on."

The software patent directive is due to be considered by the European Parliament in July, when it will have an opportunity to amend or reject it.

Topics: Government : UK

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