non-military use license

David Woolley david at
Fri Jan 12 07:29:51 UTC 2007

> If you did have such a (proprietary) license, you could patent the
> relevant ideas, and thus prevent (legal) reimplementation.

Although you cannot patent software in the UK unless it forms part of
something that would be patentable ("has technical effect"), I believe
the situation is still that the government has first call on anything
submitted for patenting in the UK and can take control of it and make
the idea a classified military secret.

In any case, national interest considerations can always override patents.

(There's also the problem that unscrupulous people in military companies
can rely on military secrecy to hide intellectual property violations,
even if they are strictly illegal.)

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