[Fsfe-ie] Patents: time to do something

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Mon Jun 30 01:23:35 CEST 2003

On Sat, Jun 28, 2003 at 11:07:25AM -0700, Justin Mason wrote:
> "sobriquet" writes:
> >I got an odd reply from Dana Scallons' office though. An assistant of hers
> >(Brooke Wilkins), promised to pass on my 'concern' when Mrs Scallon is
> >available, but replied with the following: "I have found some information
> >that may be helpful to you.  The legislation has already been voted on in
> >Parliament.  The MEPs ammended the proposal so that a patent could not be
> >obtained for every simple computer program.  The proposal is now awaiting a
> >vote in the Commission in the DG Internal Market."
> >
> >I've emailed asking for clarification - details of the supposed vote. I
> >think it may just be crossed wires though. Could anyone on the list clarify
> >this?
> It's something to do with how "technical" is defined.  As you can
> see, that's a pretty amorphous term. ;)

Scallon's assistant was probably referring to the June 17th vote by JURI.

JURI is the the EP subcommittee that is working on this directive.  (JURI is a
 non-english ancronym for "Committee for Legal Affairs and the Internal Market")

On June 17th, JURI voted on the exact wording that they would propose.
Some amendments were taken into consideration but not many.

The exact ambiguity is about how "technical effect" is defined.  For something
to be called an invention, it must cause a technical effect.  Current legislation
states that changing registers etc on a CPU doesn't count as a technical effect,
so software is currently patentable only when it is coupled with an additional
piece of technology.

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