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News of 2005 MS as SME CEC 2003/11 2005 Amendments MEP Info

2005-05-27: Council Patent Officials discuss Parliament's amendments

Commemorate Banana Union Day
The Council's patent policy working party, consisting of national ministerial patent officials, secretly met on May 27th to form a joint position on the Parliament's proposed amendments to the software patent directive as proposed by the Council. Below you can find extracts from the official "patent attachés" (diplomats from patent administrations at national representations in Brussels) report based on a transcript of the english part, which was leaked to FFII.

May 27, 2005 Intellectual Property (Patent) Attaches

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Patentability Computer-implemented inventions (doc. 11979/1/04 REV 1)

Draft amendments submitted to the European ParliamentLegal Affairs Committee;

  1. Amendments 1-39 Draft Recommendation for Second Reading, Rapporteur Michel Rocard (European Parliament document Provisional 2002/0047(COD))
  2. Amendments 40-256 (European Parliament doc. PE 357.845v01-00)

Pres:
Luxembourg patent attaché has prepared a working paper (which we have distributed to you now) which tries to group the various amendments by article and then by subject matter
Italy:
in French. scrutiny reservation
Slovakia, France, Netherlands:
general scrutiny reservation since our experts are still reviewing.
Netherlands:
also like to remind you of our Declaration with our concerns to protect industry and software designers.
Pres
We assume that everyone has general scrutiny reservation, we will meet again next Friday, on June 3.
Latvia:
general scrutiny reservation as we still need to do a more detalized anlaysis. Would like to remind you about our Declaration (doc. 16120/04 ADD 1) of December 17, 2004 where we state that the Directive should provide clear explanation of when a software program could be a computer-implemented invention which is patentable declaration. Also point out that there are very contradictory terms used in these European Parliament amendments, need to have consistent terms used.
Pres
Working paper is only a guideline to help us review the amendments. We would like to know which amendments a MS CANNOT accept and which amendments could be acceptable as a compromise.
Lux
we added guidelines of amendment number and MEP namewe might have changed the text slightly. We have limited document to the substantive articles

Title

Denmark:
some issues are so sensitive, that we cannot comment today. European Parliament JURI hearing on Monday, May 23. MEP Kaupi was against changing the title. Difficult to know what European Parliament wants. Prefer the existing title, but if it would help if we knew what EP wanted.
Germany:
Against any change in title.
Sweden:
flexible on this, as we have definitions in the text.
Hungary:
Difficult situation. Our experts did go through all amendments. None of rapporteur amendments are acceptable to us.
Ireland:
Support Germany. It would give the wrong impression. Only material devices are covered.
Poland:
Slight preference of controlled, or aided; computer-operated not acceptable.
France:
in French. 3 comments. legal point..
Finland:
General scrutiny reservation, many amendments, a moving target. Agree with Denmark, Ireland and France. Not helpful to change the title. It would be unclear what the scope would be and would computer-implemented inventions be covered by the scope or note.
Estonia:
Same as Denmark. Rather have computer-implemented, see what EP votes.
Netherlands:
Big doubts about changing title, since it would also change the scope. Do not agree to change title.
UK:
Some doubts of this title change agree with France, EP seems to narrow scope of directive, but they ought to extend the scope and put conditions within the scope. Once we know what the package is, then can decide appropriate title.
Malta:
Go with Sweden, could live with assisted or aided.
Czech Republic:
Doubts about all proposals, since they are misleading. Not ready now to support them.
Portugal:
Follow UK, give title at end of work, depends upon final balance with EP, need to know what EP really wants. Need to find something to give to EP.
Italy:
in French.
Spain:
in French. they are the same things implemented means that the scope is higher than assisted, controlled or action. "Controlled" scope is especially reduced. Definition is more important than title though.
Lux:
Prefer original title: clearer than other proposals; subject to events, we could be flexible.
Commission:
We are in a listening mode now, still examining all amendments, our comments are just preliminary. Title: other words have other connotations, thus hesistant about changing title. Title is not most important thing, definitions more important.
Lithuania:
Against amendments to title.

Article 1

Pres:
Any comments on these amendments?
Hungary:
Difficulties with all 3 amendments: they would reduce significantly the scope of application. First reading was difficult enough to agree on scope. No. 45: would put in notion of computer program patents: open up Pandora box which we closed.
Italy:
Question on article 1: Amendment 23 of Rocard: why is it not considered? We could support this one.
Pres:
This is only working paper: talking about main amendments: Rocard's amendment 23: goes back to discussion on the title (computer-controlled). Had this discussion previously.
UK:
Our feeling on this issue, putting aside the exact wording: this is a useful signal to send: we need a broad scope for the directive and then the conditions for limiting patentability are within this scope. EP intention is right for these other amendments, need to refine exact wording. Important signal we could send to EP: they think we want open-ended patentability: word "limiting" could give a good signal to EP.
Estonia:
Do not support these amendments: aim of Directive is to harmonize the subject within EU, not limit rules. Am 45 brings in computer programs which are not acceptable.
Portugal:
in French&."limiting" is same as "laying down" the rules. Important for negotiations.
Ireland:
Agree with Estonia, directive is not about limiting, but setting up the rules. Take point of UK and Portugal: negotiation situations.
Poland:
Full support for UK and Portugal.
Belgium:
in French. general scrutiny reservation. flexible on article 1. important for Belgium
France:
in French&..Same as UK and Portugal&..certain flexibility.
Malta:
Support article for reasons given by UK.
Sweden:
Agree with other speakers. Common Position has 2 elements: putting down the conditions for patentability and putting down exclusions from patentability. EP tries to put both in the same sentence.
Germany:
Share Estonia, Hungary and Ireland views.
Lux:
Did not include Rocard's amendment 23 (same as title discussion). We do not think amendments are improvement: does not just limit patentability. But like UK, we could give EP a signal.
Denmark:
no position on these yet, UK/Sweden and others sound sensible; we might be flexible.
Austria:
flexible on this. We like Swedish proposal: cover both aspects: positive and negative.
Finland:
No final position, Swedish approach is worth studying.
Czech Republic:
only discussed first part of AM 45: flexible on first part, no final position. Second part creates problem: enforceability of computer program patents: not acceptable to us.

Article 2-a: Definition of computer-implemented inventions

Pres:
Rocard amendment and others, then those on patent law amendments.
Hungary:
Same problems: am 24, 54, 55: cannot support, would limit the scope too heavily. Not 50, 51, 52, 53, can go along with 56: would not change the content.
Ireland:
like Hungary, not sure about 56: it is a fudge.
Germany:
We cannot accept any of these amendments.
Malta:
Support 54, subject to some slight changes, not support 56 as it leaves scope for different interpretations.
Estonia:
no position on Rocard 24. Doubts on other !AMs on EPC: might bring in the EPC practice into EU: we do not always agree with it.
Poland:
Same as Estonia: not accepts 56, can accept 24 and 54.
Denmark:
Most amendments do not make sense, same concerns as Estonia about EPO.
Finland:
EPC amendments: Invention is not defined in the EPC: problems. Not favorable towards the ams.
Italy:
in French&..
France:
in French&.
Netherlands:
cannot give final position. Much doubts about all amendments, especially 54: computer-assisted: changes entire scope of directive.
Sweden:
no firm position, some might be acceptable if we see entire package. Not happy with direct reference to EPC. Also reasons of Finland: do we only then refer to court practice. See how it fits.
Belgium:
same as Sweden.
Latvia:
Amendments 54 and 55: we do not in favor of direct reference to EPC
Portugal:
in French&.need to see the final package&..do not like reference to EPC: outside the EU, as Finland said: no definition of invention.
Pres:
We do not know which amendments will be finally presented to us; our view on one amendment often depends on other amendments.
Lux:
Article 2-a: no opinion yet. Reference to EPC: we prefer a more general reference to patent law.
Czech Republic:
Also like Lux: problems with references to EPC, since it is not acquis of EU.
Commission:
Still examining amendments; preliminary view: doubts as to what they really contain, they are difficult to understand. Reference to EPC does not seem to be helpful as we are trying to harmonize in this instrument. Making reference to another instrument would be confusing.

ARTICLE 2-b: DEFINITION OF TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTION

Pres:
other !AMs want "forces of nature" which is well-known concept in Germany.
Hungary:
Cannot support any !AMs. It would change the definitions we had and would cause a big misunderstanding. There are also !AMs which would have a meaning contrary to what has been agreed.
Italy:
in French&&25 support, acceptable model&&
Netherlands:
Like Hungary "prelim view": big problems with article 2-b. First 3rd sentence to "use forces of natural" unacceptable, fourth paragraph.
Pres:
Field of technology and AM 27 of Rocard is in new definitions part of our working paper.
Greece:
in French 25 acceptable, no position on others.
Ireland:
AM 25 not acceptable, not same thing. 58 unclear reference to material systems would seem to exclude tech inventions in sound and visual; 59 same as forces of nature, alien concept in Irish law; 60 and 61 similar to AMs which Council rejected in first reading, would rule out computer-implemented inventions. 64 is very unclear. Defining invention instead last AMs very confusing. Very negative reaction of Ireland.
Poland:
Favor controllable forces of nature concept. Like 61, also can accept 60.
Malta:
Agree with main thrust of 57.
Denmark:
one of the very controversial issues, No position on any AMs yet. March 7 position: we are willing to work to a clear and well-balanced compromise with EP on this topic. Ready to make some compromise compared to Council Common Position.
Belgium:
in French. not ready to have opinion.
Spain:
in French. 25 like Ireland position. 58 it is very complicated definition;
Sweden:
want separate point on processing information/discussion separate. Other definitions: "Common position" we do not think we made best solution, room for improvement. Not sure that any EP AMs solves it. Agree with Ireland: invention is not same as technical contribution, Rocard is not consistent (am to recital 13 read out).
Pres:
Later come back to information field under new definitions part.
Czech Republic:
not in favor of AM 25: technical contribution is NOT invention. No instructions for others.
France:
in French: same position as Ireland on 25: and as Czech just stated. Examining other AMs. Portugal said "depends upon the final package, could have some flexibility". Sweden said we need more information.
Portugal:
in French. same position as France. Denmark's declaration. matter of technique.. certain flexibility.
Germany:
Do not like the Amendments from EP, think we should stay with Council Common Position.
Finland:
have not analyzed all these AMs, basic approach is like Ireland. AM 25 confuses established definitions, confuses technical contribution and what is patentable, clear mistake. 60 and 61: limiting and not acceptable; first part of these amendments is technical contribution part of patentability OR estimations important question to discuss.
Austria:
25: same as Ireland; 60 and 61: do not like apriori definitions.
UK:
same as others on AM 25; 58: too restrictive and very outdated definition to only manufacturing; 59 "forces of nature" difficult area (alien concept to us). Recent workshops in UK on technical contribution 13 meetings tried to apply definitions to case studies: no definition was unambiguous; controllable forces of nature: all 13 workshops said it introduced further ambiguities. EP thinks it is a very important issue: we do not like this idea and 59, might be able to consider doing something along first half of 64 (first bullet of Mccarthy) which separates out some of the elements. We will have to enter into discussions with EP, but it does not solve problem. 60 and 61: same problem as everyone else: especially on presentation of data. 64: merit on first bullet (with changes) it can be made harmless, second part of 64: do not understand at all. 57, 62 and 63: comes to heart of problem: tendency in EP trying to put all definitions in all parts of the text, should avoid these compound definitions. big problems with these last 3 amendments.
Lux:
25 does not make much sense, nor 58. Controllable forces of nature is a key issue, need to study it more carefully.
Commission:
Am 25. agree with other statements. totally incorrect legally and cannot be accepted. Generally on these amendments. doubts as to the usefulness of trying to define technical contribution. currently it comes from case law and has a meaning. Forces of nature has different meaning in Japan than in Europe, not have same meaning for all people. could not give more legal certainty. Should talk about issues as they are, if want to talk about limiting patentability not do it through definitions. Not exclude data processing through these definitions.
Estonia:
need to study amendments; generally agree that 25 not correct, do not like 58. Forces of nature is not very helpful.

ARTICLE 2: NEW DEFINTIONS

Pres:
tell us which AMs can adopt and which you cannot adopt. Not so easy: philosophy meets technology here (per Belgium). Different subjects here. First 5 definitions: physical interaction and presentation of information/data processing.
Hungary:
Cannot support these amendments; only can support 72: provides for definition of notion of technical: anything belonging to the field of technology (would not cause any harm).
UK:
Am 26: controllable forces of nature and data processing: told you our positon. 67: no definitive view, cautious welcome. 68 and related: not useful. 73: too limiting. Interoperability: cautiously welcoming, maybe definition is too narrow: are people looking for the computer program or for a device and something broader. Industry definition is too narrow (just manufacturing: 19th century).
Italy:
in French. can accept 26 and 27.
Ireland:
Info processing. I gave my comments earlier. nothing to limit and exclude any data processing within meaning of what we want to do. Same view as UK on industry definition. Interoperability: not sure that there is a need for a definition unless a desire to introduce something on it in the articles.
Poland:
welcome 26 and 27 by Rocard. Others we are flexible, cannot accept 67 and 73.
Sweden:
same as UK
Germany:
None of proposed definitions seem acceptable to us. Will try to give alternative suggestions by next meeting, especially as to definition of industry (19th century).
Malta:
support 67 and interoperability. Not support technical definition on fields of technology; not sure about definition of industry.
France:
in French&..same problem as UK on controllable forces of nature&..depends upon the global package&&
Belgium:
in French: interoperability
Finland:
Still studying these, similar to UK and Sweden. Many amendments exclude data processing and handling, these are very limiting. Physical environment: very unclear what is physical and nonphysical. Industry: same as Germany and UK: old-fashioned.
Netherlands:
Big problems with forces of nature; some sympathy for interoperability, but doubts if it is not too limited definition.
Czech Republic:
problems with 25 and 26; analyzing other ones.
Lux:
Technical definition: can study controllable forces of nature concept. Excluding info processing is exaggerated. Definition of industry: too limited. Interoperability could be extended as UK suggested.
Portugal:
in French. favorable on interoperability. industry definition is bizarre.
Denmark:
no position yet.
Ireland:
27: term "physical world" it could have some negative implications for non-tangible inventions.
Commission:
same as stated for article 2-b: about usefulness to give new definitions, especially if risk limiting scope of application of directive. Interoperability: have useful text in the Copyright Directive instead of having sector-specific definition. Same for industry: do we need to define this in this directive/not useful.
Sweden:
Discuss suggestions about processing method handling digitally represented information: Rocard's AM 26 if cross-read this with his proposed new recital 16 suggests he wants to exclude only in a digital format without any relationship of any prior or subsequent analog. Is this the way to understand it? If so, it might be a helpful definition to this exclusion. Recital 16-a: we understand that the digital handling which has no connection with analog processing/handling of info will not be patentable.
Pres:
Not only one who does not understand Rocard's intention. Does anyone know?
France:
in French.

Article 3

Pres:
this discussion also touches ARTICLE 3, let us discuss these amendments also.
Am 29 by Rocard: cannot patent information-processing methods; others where data processing are not considered to be technology.
Hungary:
Must be reviewed together with article 2a: not support any amendments. For compromise, could go along with 94 and 96 which would give precision: both application and the patent have to be sufficiently clearly stating for persons to be able to implement that patent: repeats article 83 of European Patent Convention (so we could live with it).
Pres:
normal patent law principle.
Italy:
in French. positive re Rocard's 29 AM.
Netherlands:
92, 93 and 95: highly doubtable: cannot have software in field of technology without data processing: not acceptable. 94 and 96: like Hungary we can accept.
Ireland:
29: seems it would not regard computer programs being patentable at all: we have problem. 92, 93 and 95: cannot accept it. 94 and 96: like Hungary and Netherlands: can accept, but does it add anything?
Germany:
Cannot accept 29, 86 and those excluding data processing; can go along with 94 and 96. (ffii comment: can accept only cosmetic amendments on disclosure)
UK:
Same as France, Ireland on data processing: goes to the heart of the problem, do not know the solution. Should be clear with EP: important is whether things have a technical effect, invention as a whole and what it does, not the components. Data processing can have a technical effect, sometimes it does not. 94 and 96: words not bad, but lifted from EPC: is it appropriate to have duplication with EPC and acquis?
Lux:
sympathy with 29 except for info method processing part (some can be patentable if they are technical in our view). Others about data processing methods: not acceptable; could repeat patent law: 94 and 96.
Poland:
Data processing is not field of technology for us, thus we support 93. 94 and 96: find it superfluous, share views of UK.
Malta:
cautious yes on 86, reservation on 92 and 93, yes on 94 and 96.
Finland:
Ireland's reasons: cannot accept 29, 86, 92, 93, 95. OK for 94 and 96.
Austria:
Same as other 92, 93, 95: problem 29 and 86: need to examine; 94 and 96: OK.
Sweden:
same as others. Could see the merit of setting out exclusions clearly: 29: can agree to exclude algorithms and software as such, but NOT with info processing methods. 92, 93 and 95: do not like style of legislating (considered to belong a field of technology). Can live with 94 and 96.
Denmark:
Share concerns of others re 29, 86, 92 and others. No final position.
Commission:
like most MS, 29: ok in first part (current patent law), but with info-processing methods is problem. Same on 92, 93 and 95: different from current situation (data-processing inventions are fully patentable). 94 and 96: could accept it as normal patent law.

ARTICLE 4-PARAGRAPH 1

Pres:
other amendments are quite different from Rocard's 31. What can you accept and not accept?
Hungary:
Cannot support any amendments. Would exclude any type of programs. 102: could go to a recital (an explanation). 103: again a definition which is not even accurate: no.
Germany:
Same as Hungary on 31: Rocard: unclear what he means. 99, 100 and 101 and 103: lack "as such": unacceptable. 102: computer programmers is bizarre term in legislation: no.
Italy:
in French. accept 31 of Rocard.
Netherlands:
Amendment does not help legal certainty, as such: uncertain. Agree with Germany: 102 amendment: no.
Poland:
Support 99, 100, and 101: like them to be connected with 104, 105 and 106.
Sweden:
Like Germany and Hungary: do not like amendments, part could go to recitals. Rocard 39: if print it on paper, it would be patentable, but as a signal?
Ireland:
same position as Germany; do not like link with copyright.
France:
in French: Rocard--.
UK:
same as France.
Latvia:
re 99, 100, 101 and 102, 103: if these amendments do not include "as such", then this Directive is not at all necessary.
Finland:
no support for amendments.
Malta:
would support 99, 100, 101 if it adds "as such".
Lux:
same as France: 31 acceptable, if it were to be improved. Reference to copyright is not useful, could be in recital.
Estonia:
do not feel much sympathy for these amendments.
Commission:
same view as majority of MS. 31: Rocard: could try to clarify what we think it means: prohibits patenting of computer programs completely if on internet transfer.

ARTICLE 4-PARAGRAPH 2

Pres:
Also with new paragraph 2-a amendments. Return to problem with data-processing systems.
Hungary:
Cannot support these amendments. 2 amendments not mentioned: 108 and 109: they would not affect severely the content: could accept those.
Germany:
cannot accept amendments in this section. Could go along with 109
Italy:
in French..-accept 32: Rocard.
Czech Republic:
problems with 32: no instructions on others.
Latvia:
104, 105 and 106; 107, 108 and 109: no position yet; 110, 111,112,113, 114, 115: these amendments discriminate without reason against inventions which make data or signal processing more effective.
Ireland:
108 is a bit clearer in common position; 109: ok. Others agree with Germany.
France:
in French&.
Sweden:
same as others: could consider 108 and 109, rest unacceptable.
UK:
same as others on data processing. 107: do not understand it, very unclear. 104-106: very unclear, it is a very restrictive definition of what is a computer program: it is a set of instructions, not a solution.
Pres:
Yes, many do not know where it would lead.
Lux:
add 108 and 109 to document: we can accept. Cannot exclude all data processing methods from patentabiliy: new paragraph 2a. 107: difficult to understand, no opinon. Do not think definition of computer program is necessary, but if needed, should rewrite.
Poland:
109: do not support, support 111.
Estonia:
not support 104-106, no need to define computer program and same problem with data processing.
Finland:
new paragraph 2a are unacceptable and not accept other amendments (very unclear and difficult to understand). 108: can talk about it.
Netherlands:
same as others and Finland: problems with new paragraph 2a which excludes data processing.

ARTICLE 5, PARAGRAPH 1

Pres:
Here we also have some more special amendments: give us your positions.
Hungary:
cannot support any amendments.
Germany:
same as Hungary, keep to Council's Common Position.
Estonia:
do not favor these amendments, 117-121 are too restrictive.
Italy:
in French&.accept 33: Rocard.
Poland:
accept 121.
UK:
still considering 33, 116, 117 to 120. New paragraph 1a: goes far too far. 124, 125 and 144: description: tangential, not acceptable.
Ireland:
no, we cannot accept. 116: very unclear. 34 and others: unjustifiable restriction on patentee to enforce his patent.
Sweden:
stick to Common Position.
Lux:
error in new paragraph 1a: first 2 ams should read 122 and 123 (not 121 and 122). Some sympathy with 33. Cannot accept 122 and 123.
Finland:
33: we see it would make enforcement of existing patents more difficult, which is problematic for us.
Lux:
New paragraph 1b: adding computer program as an example: does not make much sense, not useful for third parties to have it in the patent application. (124, 125, 144)

ARTICLE 5, PARAGRAPH 2

Pres:
Many new amendments to article 5-2 and link to interoperability problem; touches patent law as it normally handled other domains. Comments on paragraph 2 in general? New paragraphs 2b and 2c: changes entire scope of article/directive.
Hungary:
Cannot accept proposed amendments. 3 amendments which are candidates for possible agreement: 127 (some elements could be used for compromise, should be more limited), it only reshuffles Common Position. 133: not in document: does not change content much. 136: peculiar way of formulating scope of protection, but might use it for EP negotiations.
Austria:
In general, might have problem with exclusion of a patent claim to a computer program: still reviewing this.
Finland:
This is another core issue. Many misunderstandings about what article 5-2 means: it is not to widen the scope, but to define the protection of what already is patentable. Everything to delete 5-1 or limit it: we cannot support. Like Hungary: 127, 133: maybe we can use some elements and improve wording. Anything which limits claims are not acceptable; support Common Position.
Germany:
Do not support/accept listed amendments under article 5-2 except for 136 and 133.
*Netherlands*:Some sympathy for new paragraph 2b, maybe other words. 126: very unclear, negative about it, but final view next week.
Poland:
Support 128 to 132 amendments.
UK:
Very negative about 126, 127: might discuss, 128 to 132: not acceptable, like Netherlands: 5-2b: like idea, most difficult would be 138 (what does "for purposes" mean?). 5-2-c: 140: do not think it necessary; 142: outside scope of this discussion.
Ireland:
126, 128 to 132: NO; 127 and 137: not sure how it improves text/very flexible. 136: OK, 138 and 139: not sure what they are trying to achieve.
Estonia:
support 128 to 132 amendments.
Sweden:
Agree with Finland: core issue. Do not understand 126, could work with 127, not with 128 to 132. 136 and 137 and 139: same problem: could probably live with a merger of these 3 amendments. 140---not acceptable.
Malta:
Accept 133, inclined to accept 136 and 137, no problem with 140.
Lux:
Can accept 128 to 132.
Commission:
Could 132, 136, 137 and 139 could be useful clarifications. Could work on 127.
Pres:
Lunch and return at 14.45.
Pres:
any other remarks on article 5-2?
Greece:
in French&.
Pres:
this concerns article 3, missing AM 30: first sentence to be discussed: yes.

ARTICLE 6a: INTEROPERABILITY

Pres:
Different ways to see this problem. Rocard's 35 AM (read text), 146 is another way, then idea of licensing: 149, 150: non-commercial use of an interface (hard to know what it is), 154: court may require a patent owner to grant a license for such use. What is unacceptable and acceptable to you?
Denmark:
No position yet due to sensitive. Rocard's 35 amended by his own amendment 145: should include this also.
Pres:
yes, looks like he amended his own amendment, not clear his aim.
Denmark:
He added anothercriteria (and there is no equally effective unpatented alternative technique).
Pres:
Looks like he joins more 146 amendment of Lichtenberger/Frassoni. Are there amendments under article 6a which are completely unacceptable.
Hungary:
most Amendments are unacceptable for us. Only one 148 re compulsory licensing possibility: not really in favor of this regulation here, since it could be regulated in national patent law: but a possible compromise point.
Ireland:
not able to give a firm view.
Netherlands:
Preliminary view: interoperability is important for info society, but it is very complex technically. Government has doubts to rule it out completely: maybe compulsory licensing or competition law be used.
UK:
Similar to Netherlands view: leave it for competition law ideally, but that is not realistic. 2 possibilities: compulsory licensing or some limited exemptions, article 30 of TRIPS limits what we can do. No firm views on thresholds and how to make compulsory licensing work.
Italy:
no position yet, 35: Rocard, we could support it.
France:
in French. like UK, important point for negotiations with EParliament. Could make compromise as part of a final package.
Czech Republic:
no final position, much sympathy for Netherlands and UK statements.
Belgium:
in French
Malta:
Support am 35: Rocard and the general thrust of interoperability.
Germany:
Starting point is same as Netherlands: if we need something in text to deal with the problem, it can only be through compulsory licensing (best seems 153).
Sweden:
No firm position, studying different options, including compulsory licensing provisions.
Portugal:
in French. use competition law.
Lux:
Must be an interoperability clause in the Directive; references to competition law are not enough; could support 35: Rocard, open for improvements. Could accept use of a patented technique only if not equally efficient alternative technique. Non-discriminatory terms license: we prefer no licenses.
Poland:
Fully support Lux: very reluctant to any licensing system; ready to accept 35: Rocard.
Austria:
Same as Lux: should address interoperability (also a core point of EP), we are quite flexible as to approach.
Pres:
no one spoke about 160 support (new article 6b).

Procedure

Pres:
There are other amendments, but we wanted to concentrate on the most important amendments. Time schedule is quite strict. How we can make progress?

We have talked about main problems and our positions: how far we are ready to move and not move. Spend one week: tell our experts about these discussions.

Next Friday: better idea of MS ideas, then Presidency will meet with the European Parliament rapporteur Michel Rocard to inform him as to what we are thinking here about the amendments, in order to try to reach a compromise. But we can only do that if we really know what you really want: those amendments which are totally unacceptable and those amendemtns which we can accept unanimity and which amendments we can discuss. We must explain to EP about our positions in the Council.

Next Friday we will again talk about articles and then sort out the amendments. Know that these articles are often linked to one another. Thank Claude of Luxembroug who prepared the Working Paper. If you have material remarks on other Amendments, tell us. We will continue to work with this Working Paper as a basis.

Latvia:
Would you be able to please explain how you see the events and future procedure?
Pres:
Legal Affairs Committee votes on June 20, we meet on June 3 again. Until June 20, we talk to rapporteur: do not know yet how and when we will meet with rapporteur Rocard. Coreper: we still do not know. Legal Affairs Committee vote is June 20: only then do we get the text and need translations. On June 22, the Council building is closed for Iraq event.

Between the June 20 EP Legal Affairs Committee vote and the July 6 plenary session of EP: we will have a Coreper meetings between these dates to know where we stand.

France:
in French. June 21 Patents attaché meeting?
Pres:
June 20 vote of EP Committee: we need to be sure we have THE text and translations; do not know if the June 21 date is realistic.
Portugal:
do you want our exact position at the June 3 meeting?
Pres:
Would like as much precise information as possible: would be good to follow this working paper and any other amendments: precise information from each MS: which you can accept and which you cannot accept. Difficult to do, but there are amendments which are absolutely unacceptable: at least we should know these. Helps us to take away those amendments with which we cannot live with: most important, can also indicate which amendments you are ready to discuss and/or accept. Try to give us as much information as possible, based on this working paper.
Finland:
Please circulate working paper by e-mail and also any updates of it.
Pres:
Yes, we will.
[ Rocard publishes position on softpat directive  Mega corporations sending SMEs to European Parliament | Hannover-Messe im Zeichen der Softwarepatente | EPO ]
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