[Fsfe-ie] Patents, current situation?

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Mon Sep 22 05:30:06 CEST 2003

(got a FAX machine? see end.)

I'm still trying to get up to date with the patent situation.

Is this vote happending on the 24th?
If so, we need to tell our MEPs how to vote today.

ffii.org.uk says that the plenary discussion is on the 23rd and
the vote is planned for the 24th.  I can't find anything which
contradicts these dates.  (please let me know if I've missed
something).  If this is correct, we don't have time for a letter.
I've mailed Alex Macfie but he's probably real busy.

Here's the current list of amendments:
(Warning: they are in OpenOffice.org's "Microsoft Word" format)

(note: amendments 001-028, 068, 074-075, and 081 are not available
 in english.  Anyone out there fluent in another EU language?)

My quick review of the amendments:
(+=good, ++=brilliant, 0=not great, -=lethal, ?=I don't understand)
29-35 +
36    ?
37-39 ++  (38 is of questionable practicality.  These three define "technology",
           "industry", and "invention" respectively)
40-41 +
42    ?
43-45 ++ (43 & 44 are duplicates of 39 & 38)
46    +  (duplicate of some previous amendment)
47-49 0  (possibly written with good intentions, it's wording opens loopholes)
50    +  (the "interoperability" patent excpetion clause.)
51    0
52    ?  (amends the proposal to reject itself?!?)
54r1  ?  (amends the proposal to reject itself?!?)
55    ++ (defining "technical field")
56-58 +
59    +
60    0
61    +  (!acknowleging the social value of free software!)
62    ++ (!patent *exemption* for Free Software! weird.  ++ or +, not sure)
69    ++
70    ?
71    -  (aims to lower patent costs for SMEs.  We'd rather reject patentabiltiy)
72-73 +
76    +  (another interoperabiltiy clause.  good, but we should aim higher)
82-85 +
86    ?
87    ++ ("Exclusions from patentability")
88    ?
89    ?  (probably ok, definitely not great.  Not enough context, no justification)
90    0
91    -  (tries to sound pro-SME, but it's more pro-swpat)
92    -  (not much context given.  The author doesn't seem to understand TRIPS)
93    -  (lacking purpose.  MEP annoyingly doesn't give justification)
94    -  (lacking purpose.  Fluff.  same MEP as 92 & 93)
95    ++ (doesn't alter the directive, but it calls for a review of EPO practices)
96    +  (or maybe 0.  This amendment changes very little)
97    ++ (defines "technical field", and "technical", excludes date processing)
98    +
99    ?
100     -  (claiming to be pro-SME, it simply extends the power of patentability)
101-102 +  (I'm not 100% certain but I think these are good for us)
103     ++ (seems dodgy, kinda overly broad, but it's in our favour)
104     ++ (or maybe 0.  requires unrestricted source code to accompany patents)
105     +  (another interoperability clause.  okay but we should aim higher)
106     +  (7 year term for "computer-implemented inventions")

These numbers are all prefixed with "A5-0238/" to form their full name.

My hope is to make a voting list with a short cover note and send it to
as many of the UK & Ireland MEPs as possible.

Fax and email are our only options.  I have no Fax access.  This list/note
won't be ready until teatime today (Monday), so I'm looking for someone
that can send a 1 page FAX to loads of Strasbourg numbers, sometime after
1800h.  Any takers?

Any comments on my amendments review?


More information about the FSFE-IE mailing list