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voldenuit
07-06-2005, 12:18 PM
"No directive on software patents

Michel ROCARD (PES, FR)
Report on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions
(11979/1/2004 – C6 0058/2005 – 2002/0047(COD))
Doc.: A6-0207/2005
Procedure : Codecision (2nd reading)
Debate : 05.07.2005
Vote : 06.07.2005
There will not be any EU legislation on the computer-implemented invention. On Wednesday, the European Parliament rejected, by 648 votes to 14 with 18 abstentions, the so-called software patent directive, putting an end to a passionate three year debate.

Before the vote, rapporteur Michel ROCARD (PES, FR) said Parliament was split fifty-fifty on the issue and all political groups decided to reject the text rather than risk a result they could not accept. He added: "There is collective anger throughout the Parliament because of the way the directive was handled by the Commission and the Council," recalling the contested approval of the common position. He said the vote is a clear invitation to the Commission and the Council to show full respect to the EP in future. He concluded that "this legislation is not mature for adoption."

Commissioner Benita FERRERO-WALDNER reacted to the vote by saying that without the directive, patents on computerised inventions will continue to be granted by national offices and by the European Patent Office, with no harmonisation and thus allowing possible different interpretations of the rules.

During the debate on Tuesday, Commissioner Joaquín ALMUNIA told MEPs: "Should you decide to reject the common position, the Commission will not submit a new proposal." Attention now moves to the proposed directive for a Community patent, currently in discussion in the Council, mentioned by a number of MEPs as the appropriate legislative instrument to address the issue of software patentability.

According to the co-decision rules, today's negative vote means the end of the legislative procedure and the fall of the directive.

The common position, if approved, would have allowed patenting of computer-implemented inventions. This outcome was advocated by big software firms, which argued that patents would encourage research spending and defend European inventions from US competition. On the contrary, the directive was criticised by supporters of "open source" software, mainly smaller companies, who claimed copyright already protects their inventions and were afraid that patenting would raise legal costs."

Source:

http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/sipade2?PUBREF=-//EP//TEXT+PRESS+DN-20050706-1+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&L=EN&LEVEL=2&NAV=X&LSTDOC=N#SECTION1

bramley
07-06-2005, 02:38 PM
Good news, but nobody should assume that this is the last we will hear of this.
Attention now moves to the proposed directive for a Community patent, currently in discussion in the Council, mentioned by a number of MEPs as the appropriate legislative instrument to address the issue of software patentability.
And it is with the debate on Community patents that the real blood-letting will begin.

ArcticStones
07-07-2005, 10:52 AM
Good news, but nobody should assume that this is the last we will hear of this. And it is with the debate on Community patents that the real blood-letting will begin.

Could you clarify what this means? Norway is not a member of the EU, so I have not been catching the nuances of this debate. Nor, I am sure, have most North-Americans.

I understand that the failure of this legislation is good for Open Source, yes?

voldenuit
06-26-2006, 02:20 PM
Florian Müller, one of the guys involved in lobbying successfully towards the rejection of the first attempt has written a 377 page creative-commons-licensed, freely downloadable ebook about the whole process. It reads like a thriller and is pretty instructive when you try to understand how laws get made in the EU.

You can download it here:
http://www.no-lobbyists-as-such.com/index.html

The second coming for EU software patents is under way, a detailed analysis here:
http://www.no-lobbyists-as-such.com/PATSTRATanalysis0604.pdf

voldenuit
07-11-2006, 12:49 PM
The plot thickens:

"EPO [European Patent Office] dogmatic, short-sighted and power-hungry, says European Commission"
http://wiki.ffii.org/ComEPOPr060710En

Foul play at the EU hearing about european [software] patents, second edition:

"Commission Cheats European SMEs in Patent Consultation"
http://wiki.ffii.org/PatConsultPr060710En

voldenuit
07-15-2006, 04:47 PM
The book in post #4 is quite specific about how lobbying worked during the first round of the software patent attempt. Here is a guide through the scary world of EU-lobbyinng in Brussels:

http://www.corporateeurope.org/docs/lobbycracy/lobbyplanet.pdf

"Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Since late 2004, Corporate Europe Observatory, together with a broad coalition of civil society groups from all over Europe, is campaigning for effective EU disclosure and ethic rules for lobbyists. with a focus on transparency. At the very minimum, corporations, PR firms and lobby groups (with a lobbying budget over a to-be-defined minimum amount) should be obliged to submit regular reports providing details on content, clients and budget of their lobbying activities. These reports should be fully accessible to the public in an online searchable database. EU lobbying disclosure rules would not solve all problems caused by excessive corporate power. But a European lobbying register would be an effective tool for parliamentarians to know who is lobbying them..."

The idea that we elect representatives to serve our best interest seems rather naive once you read up on current practice in corporate lobbying.