I need help contacting groups in Israel. With a February deadline, the Israeli patent office is asking if it should grant software patents. To help, join this mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org. As usual, the small businesses, individual programmers, and software user groups don’t seem to have noticed this consultation. This is common in public consultations – but you can bet the lawyers groups and the multinationals are aware and working on their submissions. So I need help with informing people in Israel now so they have some time to get prepare submissions. More info below.
I don’t have any contacts in Israel. I’ve searched around for the sort of groups that should be interested but have only found two programmer groups. Some good news: they both use English as their working language, so there’s no need to worry about not knowing the national languages.
I’ve recently examined the submissions to a few public consultations, and I’ve noticed that software developers, small businesses, and software user groups don’t participate much. Three examples are Europe, the USA, and Australia. So there’s a worry that the patent office, even in good faith, is failing to reach the people who will suffer the negative effects of software patents.
The Israeli courts have thrown out software patents, so there’s a real chance to end software patents there. It would be a terrible missed opportunity if software ideas became patentable just because a consultation reached the wrong people.
Lawyers groups and big multinationals are usually aware of these consultations, and they have the resources and procedural know-how to participate. Please help raise awareness of this.
(While I’m ringing alarm bells, I should mention that Australia is going to have a software patent legislative proposal soon. I’ll put out more info on that soon.)