The European Parliament voted today to reject the Computer-Implemented Inventions directive, the so-called 'software patent' directive. Red Hat and Sun Microsystems combined efforts with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) to bring about this victory for those who value free and open source software. The Parliamentary rejection represents a request for better legislation; legislation that will ensure that software "as such" is not patentable. Despite the heavy lobbying efforts of big industry, including dominant software companies favouring ratification of the common position on the directive, an unamended directive that would permit the patenting of software, the European Parliament conducted an exercise in democracy, ensuring that all participants had access and were heard. Parliament's action today reinforces the need for balanced legislation that ensures a competitive software industry in Europe.
"This outcome is a clear victory for open source," said Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems. "It expresses Parliaments clear desire to provide a balanced, competitive market for software, one that gives equal access to participants of all sizes. This action further sustains the clear mandate to our elected officials to assure that new legislation represents the interests of all, including consumers and the public and not just big industry."
"The actions of Parliament, and the efforts of our friends at FFII in bringing about this result, have been simply amazing," said Mark Webbink, Deputy General Counsel of Red Hat, Inc. "The action of Parliament affirms that the scope of patentability in the proposed legislation was too broad, that it is better to have no legislation than bad legislation, and that there is no connection between innovation and software patents. We applaud the efforts of all who have contributed to bring about this successful result."
Sun and Red Hat, both with long histories in the open source community, set aside their competitive differences in this process. Both companies felt the interests of free and open source software merited cooperation at a high level.
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
A singular visionâeuro""The Network Is The Computer"âeuro"guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://sun.com.
About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world's leading open source and Linux provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with satellite offices spanning the globe. Red Hat is leading Linux and open source solutions into the mainstream by making high quality, low cost technology accessible. Red Hat provides operating system software along with middleware, applications and management solutions. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide and through top-tier partnerships. Red Hat's open source strategy offers customers a long term plan for building infrastructures that are based on and leverage open source technologies with focus on security and ease of management. Learn more: http://www.redhat.com
LINUX is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. RED HAT is a registered trademark of Red Hat, Inc. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About Red Hat
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at http://www.redhat.com.
Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: risks related to delays or reductions in information technology spending; the effects of industry consolidation; the ability of the Company to compete effectively; the integration of acquisitions and the ability to market successfully acquired technologies and products; uncertainty and adverse results in litigation and related settlements; the inability to adequately protect Company intellectual property and the potential for infringement or breach of license claims of or relating to third party intellectual property; the ability to deliver and stimulate demand for new products and technological innovations on a timely basis; risks related to data and information security vulnerabilities; ineffective management of, and control over, the Company’s growth and international operations; fluctuations in exchange rates; and changes in and a dependence on key personnel, as well as other factors contained in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (copies of which may be accessed through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov), including those found therein under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations". In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic and political conditions, governmental and public policy changes and the impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.