[Fsfe-ie] FFII Open Letter calls for participation in Community Patent Consultation

Malcolm Tyrrell malcoh0l at yahoo.ie
Wed Mar 22 10:53:04 CET 2006

I received this press release on the news at ffii.org list.

I've reformatted it to stop my web-mail client breaking lines in
places (you get the idea). The original is at:

Good luck,



PRESS RELEASE -- [ Europe / Economy / ICT ]

FFII Open Letter calls for participation in Community Patent

22 March 2006 (Brussels, Belgium) The FFII urges European
businesses which produce or depend on software for their daily
operations to participate in the European Commission's
consultation on the Community Patent.  The FFII provides a
detailed analysis as well as example answers to the questions.
The consultation's participation deadline is 31 March 2006.

Dear Corporate Supporters,

The EU Commission launched, two months ago, a consultation
procedure for a "final effort" to introduce EU-wide patents.
There is a strong chance that this process will legitimise
software patents, and make it easier and cheaper to use them in
court.  We believe this would be very bad for the EU IT sector
and all businesses that depend on it.  In our experience,
software patents lead to more lawsuits, not to more software.

The FFII has been working on analysing the consultation
procedure, and writing good answers to the Commission's
questions.  Last week we also met the Commission's Erik
Nooteboom, who is in charge of the consultation, and we expressed
our concerns. We believe that the plan to create a wider patent
system is counter-productive without moves to ban once and for
all patents on ideas, methods, and algorithms, the basics of
software and the IT industry.

Our analysis is available in
* English: http://consultation.ffii.org/
* French: http://consultation.ffii.fr/
* Polish: http://www.ffii.org.pl/pat/cpat/kons/
* Dutch: http://www.ffii.be/gemeenschapsoctrooi

If you have time, read the whole analysis.  If you are in a
hurry, we have prepared some example answers.  You can also take
key points and use these to answer the questions in your own

It is explained in detail on

As president of the FFII, the association that has been fighting
for six long years to protect your right to do business, by
keeping patents out of the software industry, I ask you to take
three concrete actions:

* First of all, answer the consultation, in your own words, in
email or on paper.
* Secondly, make a substantial donation to the FFII so that
we can continue to defend your rights.
* Lastly, forward this email to other businesses which produce
or use software so they can also answer.

The issue of software patents affects us all, and we must seize
this opportunity to influence the future laws.  It is not often
that we can make a difference, but this is one of those few

The FFII will be monitoring the consultation process and holding
open a dialogue with the Commission to represent you.  If you
have questions, please send them to consultation at ffii.org.

With best regards
Pieter Hintjens
President, FFII e.V. <pieterh at ffii.org>

Background Information

* FFII English consultation website

* FFII French consultation website

* FFII Polish consultation website

* FFII Dutch consultation website

* Commission consultation page

* Flaws in the consultation procedure

* Permanent link to this press release

Contact Information

Benjamin Henrion, FFII Brussels, +32-2-4148403, bhenrion at ffii.org

About FFII -- http://www.ffii.org

The FFII is a not-for-profit association registered in twenty
European countries, dedicated to the development of information
goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free
competition, open standards.  More than 850 members, 3,500
companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act
as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion
rights (intellectual property) in data processing.

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