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FSFE responds to EU consultation on patents and standard

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In order to push for a more enlightened policy approach to managing innovation and knowledge, FSFE has submitted a response [pdf] to an EU consultation on patents and standards. This is the latest action in FSFE's ongoing work in promoting Open Standards.

The consultation, run by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, sought input from the public on the interaction of standards and patents. In its response, FSFE focused mainly on how patents on computer-implemented inventions negatively affect competition and innovation in the software market.

We also highlighted that so-called "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) licensing terms are in practice a grave discrimination against Free Software programs. In many segments of the software market, these programs are the most significant competition to non-free offerings. FSFE recommends that standards organisations instead implement the successful patent licensing policies of the W3C and other bodies, and make the restriction-free licensing of standard-essential patents mandatory.