No Software Patents in Europe!

Web strike against 20 years of patent nightmare - we are protesting against Software Patents in Europe.

This website and most software will become illegal to use in Europe if this dangerous directive is adopted without proper amending. So far the European Patent Office has already granted about 30,000 software patents, which all at once will become valid. This includes patents for something as simple as a progress bar or a shopping trolley.

The Commission and the Council of Ministers are covertly pushing for unlimited patentability of software, as heavily lobbied by multinationals and patent lawyers. They are ignoring the democratically voted decision of the European Parliament from September, 24th 2005, which has the support of more than 300.000 citizens, 2.000.000 SMEs and dozens of economists and scientists.

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In leaked documents the Commission criticises the European Patent Office (EPO) as a "business culture of its own" that considers EU interferences in patent law "as an attack on the holy writ". The Commission also raises concerns that the EPO is "assuming a policy role which does not belong to it". These remarks, which echo long-running concerns raised by the FFII, contrast sharply with Commissioner McCreevy's promotion of the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA), which would hand the EPO even more power. (more)

The Commission made an undercover move to get more "useful" answers following the 12 April closing date of its Patent Policy consultation. It sought out small firms across Europe who had used the patent system. It then provided these firms with new documentation and specialist assistance to help them write individual answers. None of the firms answering the online consultation got this help. But when the software firms in this new group came to the same conclusions as the FFII, the Commission concluded that these firms were "lacking knowledge about the patent system". (more)

The European Parliament urges the Commission support a Free Software agenda in the Lisbon program. A motion from the industry committee (ITRE) under rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera was approved yesterday. The report addresses also the future of European patent policy. One year earlier the European Parliament finally rejected the European Software Patents directive which was strongly opposed by members of the free software community. (more)

The "Patentanwaltskammer" (German Chamber of Patent Attorneys) strongly opposes a EU-Community patent. This is the message carried out by their contribution to the EU Community Patent Consultation. The opponents of a Community Patent mention several reasons why patent attorneys would dislike a community patent. (more)

Before Christmas 2005 the European Patent Office published a study by German consultancy company Roland Berger. In August 2004 the study was first presented to the EPO according to the document. The late publication of the study raises questions as the study confirms the extraordinary transaction costs intensity of the European patent system. (more)

Unlike the copyright system, the patent system requires complicated and expensive procedures that are difficult to internationalise. The world's biggest patent offices, those of the USA, Europe and Japan, nevertheless convened once more, under the name "Trilateral Project", in Munich this week in order to push forward developments toward a worldwide unified patent system. The three offices are in a unique position to do this, because they factually dominate patent legislation in their respective regions. (more)

Microsoft lost in its fight against the "technology company" Eolas. Thats what online media and Eolas Technologies Inc. do report. The validity of the disputed "plugin patent" US 5,838,906 sustains. Due to patent infrignment Microsoft already got judged to pay more than 500 Mio. USD to the favour of EOLAS, but as it first seemed was able to take successful steps on an unconventional law process. (more)

In a press release, the EU Commission interprets the rejection of its software patent directive by the European Parliament as a confirmation of the "status quo", defined by the practice of the European Patent Office. The Commission extensively quotes pro-patent lobby group EICTA as representative of the European ICT industry (Information and Communication). (more)

Even after the EU Parliament's rejection of the controversial software patent directive, the war of words rages on between opponents and proponents of software patents. Anti-patent campaigners today criticized the lobbyists in the other camp for "excessive spin doctoring". (more)

The European Parliament today decided by a large majority to reject the as software patent directive known directive "on the patentability of computer implemented inventions". This rejection was the logical answer to the Commission's refusal to restart the legislative process in February and the Council's reluctance to take the will of the European Parliament and national parliaments into account. (more)

The entire list of Software Patent News can be found at the FFII Wiki.


Last Modification: 2007-03-20 14:10 (CET)
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