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EuroParl 2003EP 03/09EP 03/08EP 03/07EP 03/06EP 03/05EP 03/04EP 03/03

2003/08/25-9 BXL: Software Patent Directive Amendments

Members of the European Parliament are coming back to work on monday August 25th. It is the last week before the vote on the Software Patent Directive Proposal. We are organising a conference and street rally wednesday the 27th. Some of our friends will moreover be staying in the parliament for several days. Time to work decide on submission of amendments to the software patent directive proposal is running out. FFII has proposed one set of amendments that stick as closely as possible to the original proposal while debugging and somewhat simplifying it. An alternative small set of amendments would "cut the crap" and rewrite the directive from scratch. We present and explain the possible approaches.

Schedule for 2003/08/27

12.00-14.00Place du LuxembourgPerformance
  • Pantomime
  • Balloons
  • Speeches
14.00-16.00EP A1E1Conference
  • Bart Staes (MEP, NL, VERD)
  • Johanna Boogerd (MEP, BE, ELDR)
  • Heidi Rühle (MEP, DE, VERD)

Henk Barendregt:
NL, Chair Foundation of Mathematics and Computer Science Nijmegen University, Patentability of Software: a perspective from a computer science
Reinier Bakels:
NL, University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law

"The JURI Proposal: Clarification by Confusion?"

Marco Schulze:
CEO, Nightlabs GmbH, Ticketing System Patents in Europe
Hartmut Pilch:
DE, president of FFII

"Why Amazon One Click Shopping is Patentable under the Proposed EU Directive"

Jan Macek:
PL, "Internet Telephony: no voice over IP"
Herman Bruyninckx:
BE, professor of computer science, Program Claims: Bans on Publication of Patent Descriptions
Nick Hill:
UK, FSF, "Letter Exchanges with McCarthy in the Guardian and elsewhere"
Markus Beckedahl:
Netzwerk Neue Medien, Berlin, "Patent Policymaking in Berlin"
José Dapena Paz:
ES, Igalia S.L

"Patents: a Real Risk for Software Industry and Citizens in Europe"

Annotated Links

->EU Software Patent Plans Shelved Amid Massive Demonstrations
On Aug 28th, the European Parliament postponed its vote on the proposed EU Software Patent Directive. The day before, approximately 500 persons had gathered for a rally beside the Parliament in Brussels, accompanied by an online demonstration involving more than 2000 websites. The events in and near the Parliament were reported extensively covered in the media, including tv and radio, all over Europe and beyond. Within a few days, the petition calling the European Parliament to reject software patentability accumulated 50,000 new signatures.
->Software Patent Events Wednesday 2003/08/27 12.00-16.00
Letter to Members of the European Parliament
->2003/08 Letter to Software Creators and Users
The European Parliament will, in its plenary session on September 1st, decide on a directive proposal which ensures that algorithms and business methods like Amazon One Click Shopping become patentable inventions in Europe. This proposal has the backing of about half of the parliament. Please help us make sure that it will be rejected. Here are some things to do.
->AEL Big Demo 27 aug Wiki
Hints on how to participate in the demo, needed equipment on site, who provides what, etc
->FFII BXL 2003/08 Wiki
Holger's editable auxiliary pages for the 2003/08/27 demo and related events. Includes hints on hotel/hostel rooms, t-shirts, banners etc
->AEL Big Demo 27 aug Wiki
Hints on how to participate in the demo, needed equipment on site, who provides what, etc
->EU Software Patent Directive Amendment Proposals
The European Commission proposed on 2002-02-20 to consider computer programs as patentable inventions and make it very difficult not to grant a patent on an algorithm or a business method that is claimed with the typical features of a computer program (e.g. computer, i/o, memory etc). We have worked out a counter-proposal that upholds the freedom of computer-aided reasoning, calculating, organising and formulating and the copyright property-based property rights of software authors while supporting the patentability of technical inventions (problem solutions involving forces of nature) according to the differentiations that have been laid down in the European Patent Convention (EPC), the TRIPs treaty and the classical patent law literature. This counter-proposal is receiving support from numerous prominent players in the fields of software, economics, politics and law.
->EU Software Patent Directive Core Amendments
A few amendment proposals which are absolutely necessary if algorithms and business methods such as Amazon One Click Shopping are not to be considered patentable inventions.
->Why Amazon One Click Shopping is Patentable under the Proposed EU Directive
According to the European Commission (CEC)'s Directive Proposal COM(2002)92 for "Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions" and the revised version approved by the European Parliament's Committee for Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (JURI), algorithms and business methods such as Amazon One Click Shopping are without doubt patentable subject matter. This is because
  1. Any "computer-implemented" innovation is in principle considered to be a patentable "invention".
  2. The additional requirement of "technical contribution in the inventive step" does not mean what most people think it means.
  3. The directive proposal explicitly aims to codify the practise of the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO has already granted thousands of patents on algorithms and business methods similar to Amazon One Click Shopping.
  4. CEC and JURI have built in further loopholes so that, even if some provisions are amended by the European Parliament, unlimited patentability remains assured.
->Pamphlets on Software Patents
Pamhplets, posters etc concernign questions of patentability and impact of patents on software

[ Software Patent Discussions in and near the European Parliament in 2003 | 2003/09 EP: Software Patent Directive Vote | 2003/08/25-9 BXL: Software Patent Directive Amendments | 2003/07/01-2 STB: Software Patent Directive Amendments | 2003/06 Europarl Software Patent Meetings | 2003/05/07-08 BXL: Software Patents: From Legal Wordings to Economic Reality | 2003/04/08 STB: Softpat Directive and Europe's Legal Structure | Europarl 2003/03/12: McCarthy Paper and Amendments ]

© 2003/09/18 (2002/01/02) Workgroup