Spinning off Project Troglodyte

Project Troglodyte has raised enough interest that we’ve decided to spin it off as a separate project altogether. It will now continue at http://www.project-troglodyte.org.  

We’ve also gotten new collaborators (and especially people who are contributing anonymously), so a transfer makes sense at this point.

Zygomatica will continue as it is — a platform for the three of us to think about things in different ways.

Project-troglodyte.org , we hope, will grow into something with a tighter focus.Bad patents are not the end of the world, and very few people either understand or care about the issues, but they are something to be strongly opposed nevertheless.

There is pressure to harmonize patent systems around the world. This is not necessarily all bad. Unfortunately, “harmonize” seems to mean “make identical to the US system.”

There are two key problems. The US system is highly vulnerable to patent trolls (see Wikipedia article, but note that information might not be completely unbiased). In particular, there is pressure to loosen limitations on software patents, which are the lifeline of trolls. (See Wikipedia article, but note that the information may be partly outdated).

Whatever the advantages or disadvantages of a patent system in general, we fell quite strongly that the US system is not something we in the rest of the world should “harmonize” ourselves to. The other way around, perhaps.

Some of the regions where the debate is ongoing:

Australia. Allows software patents, but appears so far to have had less problems than the US. (See iLaw, jurisdiction.com)

New Zealand. Ongoing debate. Rules are being changed to make SW patenting slightly easier, but the exact impact is unclear (see ZDNet, TheRegister)

Europe. Software patents have been banned so far. But debate is ongoing. (See EUPat, FSFE). For latest news, see FSFE: Unitary patent threatens innovation in Europe.

Given that the pressure is worldwide and the problem is the US, we think our chosen strategy of looking at the US system is the right one. At least we will be prepared if we are “harmonized”.

So: from now on Zygomatica.com for our different thoughts on different things, Project-troglodyte.org for a wider community effort focusing on worrisome patents.

Jakke Mäkelä, Niko Porjo, and Timo Tokkonen