September 02, 2003
EU Delays Vote on Directive to Patent Software

Matthew Broersma/CNET says in Protests delay software patents vote:

The European Parliament has delayed voting on a controversial software-patents directive, after protests and criticism by computer scientists and economists.

Software patents have been likened to allowing a monopoly on the ideas behind stories, and opponents of the proposed Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions claim it would effectively allow unlimited software patents. In the United States, large companies acquire arsenals of patents that they use to protect themselves from upstart competition.

Currently, software is protected under copyright law in the EU.

Peter Williams/Computing suggests that "...suspicion exists that the European Parliament is simply buying time in the face of fierce lobbying against the measure." The opposition, includes the companies mentioned here before, as well as:

EuroLinux has collected nearly 200,000 signatures for a petition against the directive.

In addition, 12 leading European economists sent an open letter (pdf) to the European Parliament urging it to reject the proposals.

The letter warned of the appearance of "extensive portfolios of software patents" which would have "serious detrimental effects on European innovation, growth and competitiveness".

Posted by Mary Hodder at September 02, 2003 07:55 AM | TrackBack
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