Thales and Software Patents
The french weapon maker Thales has only recently applied for at best a handful (3 until 2003) of software patents at the European Patent Office. It is clear that Thales is not among the winners of the software patents arms race and has more to lose from it than most players. Yet the chief patent lawyer of Thales, Thierry Nguyen, has been one of the most active promoters of software patentability in Europe. He has been present at many conferences and spoken in the name of his company as well as the whole industry of Europe, demanding that programs should be directly patentable. Nguyen's argumentation was limited to the usual belief statements of the patent law community, such as that patents are good and SMEs in particular need them. Some people at the R&D department of Thales are unhappy about Mr. Nguyen's activities, but they do not have a say in the company's policy on patent matters.
||Method and system for preventing disparities or error messages and erroneous responses in iff type systems
||METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE MOVEMENT OF A CURSOR ON A SCREEN
||THALES NEDERLAND B V
||Multi-targets detection method applied in particular to surveillance radars with multi-beamforming in elevation
- Europarl Hearings 2002-11-07 and 26
- At this occasion Nguyen stated his beliefs in the name of Europe's industry. Nguyen cited an example of an SME which relies on software patents. The CEO of this SME later wrote a letter to the Europan Parliament in which it protested against these assertions and made clear that its company policy is not dependent on the availability of patents for software.
english version 2004/08/16 by Hartmut PILCH