The Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe and the Scientists' Petition
are being presented on Tue 30 Sept 2003 at 6 pm in the Petition Committee in the European Parliament Room A3G2, Spinelli Building (ASP) at Brussels by Bernard Lang
and Philippe Aigrain.
On 10 Nov, software patents are possibly on the agenda for a meeting of governmental patent experts from EU member states in the European Council. The software patent owner lobby and EU Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein are now counting on the Council, whose "patent policy working party" has proven in the past to be very responsive to patent owner wishes. Bolkestein and his supporters have predicted that the Council will withdraw the directive or, if that fails, give in to anticipated US pressure. The day before the vote Bolkestein warned MEPs that they would ruin their chances of democratic participation if they voted as they did last wednesday. The US and UK governments sent warnings of similar content to MEPs earlier this month.
In this atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and distrust (FUD) launched against the European Parliament, both Mr Aigrain and Mr Lang are expected to strenghten the position of the Parliament in European legislation.
For attending the meeting, please send mail to Benjamin Henrion.
- media at ffii org
- FFII Munich (German, English and French): 0049/89/18979927
Benjamin Henrion (French and English): 0032/498/292771 or 0032/10/454779
Jonas Maebe (Dutch and English): +32-485-36-96-45
Dieter Van Uytvanck (Dutch and English): +32-499-16-70-10
Erik Josefsson (Swedish and English): +46-707-696567
Alex Macfie (English): +44 7901 751753
Joaquim Carvalho (Portugues and English): +35-1-93-6169633
More Contacts to be supplied upon request
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit association registered in Munich, which is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports the development of public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 300 members, 700 companies and 50,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions in the area of exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.
The EuroLinux Alliance for a Free Information Infrastructure is an open coalition of commercial companies and non-profit associations united to promote and protect a vigourous European Software Culture based on copyright, open standards, open competition and open source software such as Linux. Corporate members or sponsors of EuroLinux develop or sell software under free, semi-free and non-free licenses for operating systems such as GNU/Linux, MacOS or MS Windows.
- Bolkestein's warning to MEPs
- Similar statements were uttered previously by Arlene McCarthy and later by several patent attorneys, some in names of organisations.
see Reactions to EP Vote
- EU Parliament Votes for Real Limits on Patentability
- In its plenary vote on the 24th of September, the European Parliament approved the proposed directive on "patentability of computer-implemented inventions" with amendments that clearly restate the non-patentability of programming and business logic, and uphold freedom of publication and interoperation.
- Vote in 8 days: 2000 IT bosses ask European Parliament to say NO to software patents
- A "Petition for a Free Europe without Software Patents" has gained more than 150000 signatures. Among the supporters are more than 2000 company owners and chief executives and 25000 developpers and engineers from all sectors of the European information and telecommunication industries, as well as more than 2000 scientists and 180 lawyers. Companies like Siemens, IBM, Alcatel and Nokia lead the list of those whose researchers and developpers want to protect programming freedom and copyright property against what they see as a "patent landgrab". Currently the patent policy of many of these companies is still dominated by their patent departments. These have intensively lobbied the European Parliament to support a proposal to allow patentability of "computer-implemented inventions" (recent patent newspeak term which usually refers to software in the context of patent claims, i.e. algorithms and business methods framed in terms of generic computing equipment), which the rapporteur, UK Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy, backed by "patent experts" from the socialist and conservative blocks, is trying to rush through the European Parliament on June 30, just 13 days after she had won the vote in the Legal Affairs Committe (JURI).
- 30 Wetenschappers 2003/05: Petitie tegen de Softwarepatentenrichtlijn
- 30 bekende computerwetenschappers bekritiseren het voorstel van de Europese Commissie om softwarepatenten in Europa te legaliseren zeer scherp.