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European Patent Policy

Novell Statement on Proposed European Union Software Directive Changes

Novell is aware of the public debate in the European Union about proposed legislation that liberalizes patentability standards for software, and the possible impact of such legislation on Linux and other open source products. In response to this debate and to ensure that the marketplace has a clear understanding of Novell's position, we offer the following statement on the proposed changes to the European Union directive on patents and its possible effects on open source software:

  • There are differing intellectual property rights systems around the world and where patent protection is available for software, Novell has sought to use and will continue to use patents as a legitimate means of protecting Novell's software offerings. We believe that the current system in the European Union has served the industry, the individual Member States and Novell well, and generally promotes innovation and competition in the industry. Accordingly, Novell does not see the need for the proposed changes to the current system.
  • In the event the European Union were to allow broader patentability of software, Novell would nonetheless be able to freely market its software offerings, whether closed or open source, in Europe and other jurisdictions that presently favor software patents.
  • For further information in this regard, please see Novell's Statement on Patents and Open Source Software posted at Novell's web site.

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