Thankfully, the situation is not as bad in the EU, but there's a lot of pressure to the Commission (mainly from US/JP corporations - Fujitsu & Microsoft are some recent examples) to promote additional laws that ease patent issuing and enforcing them.
If clarification is needed, I'm a firm believer of "information must be free". I think we could agree that giving the right to lawyers to make profits out of decent people's work and ideas is not part of that. :)
And sorry, I falsely understood that you believed that the easer issuing of patents which is probably coming in EU is what's "better" in EU than in US. Now I've read more carefully -- I'm the one who overlook the "but" in your sentence.
Any specific examples of this?
From what I remember, GM food was allowed in the EU because there wasn't sufficient reason to disallow it. Not that there wasn't lobbying pressure on both sides, of course, but those in favour were mainly from farming lobbying groups who wanted to grow it.
That's why Microsoft, for example, pays off billions in patent lawsuit winnings and then hires expansive lobbyists to keep them coming. It's peanuts to big companies but the freedom from upstart competition they get is priceless.
The patent system itself is broken..... let's fix that...
While I'm sure most people here agree that software patents need fixing, saying they were to blame for the Commodore Amiga's failure is inaccurate.
Since Hyperion and Amiga Inc finally have agreed that the os can be enjoyed on other hw now, maybe I can get that feeling back.
Don't you just hate lawyers and greedy people messing up a consumers right to have fun? Great post, I always thought I knew everything about this story.
The thing is... the stuff we have access to now is enormously faster and more powerful in all respects - so what do we need to get that magic feeling back?
I really, really don't like software patents, but solving this problem (flicker in animation) in 1978 may be one of the cases that would be worth it. Link to patent courtesy of pvg http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1545347
That's the patent. Commodore was already in difficulties, both due to both problems of their own making and strong competition. The patent issue can't have helped but it's unlikely it's the primary or even a major factor in their demise.