[Fsfe-ie] FT article on EU swpat decision

Ben North ben at redfrontdoor.org
Fri Feb 18 10:07:13 CET 2005

[If anybody reading this is an FFII Editor and thinks this worth
including in http://wiki.ffii.org/SwpatcninoEn then please do.]

Financial Times

EU's lawmakers reject software patent legislation
By Tobias Buck in Brussels



for first couple of paragraphs (whole article only available to
subscribers).  Summary of article:

The European parliament, with support of all parliamentary groups, made
a rare demand for the law to be withdrawn.  The draft law has split
opinion: Nokia, Siemens, Microsoft, Philips in favour, claiming that
strong "IP" rights encourage research and innovation; they also state
that already-granted patents would become invalid.  Smaller developers
warn the draft would concentrate power with the big players.  The FT
says it would allow patents on software making "technical
contributions".  Critics claim the text is worded to allow pure software
patents.  European Commission now must decide between tabling a new
proposal and pushing the present draft forward.  Its choice depends on
the support of the EU Member States, who are now sceptical.  It is
unusual for formal approval not to have been granted, given that
informal approval was earlier granted.  The Commission will make its
decision "after a meeting of industry ministers in early March" but is
not withdrawing the proposal yet.  Mark MacGann, president of Eicta, a
group in favour of the law: "to be faced with this legal limbo is not
helpful to European industry".

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