OS3G - Open Source, 3rd Generation

A (humble) attempt to publish news from the trenches where Free/Libre/Open-Source Software is brought to the mainstream -- and Francois Letellier's blog, too

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Consultation on European Patent System

The European Commission (Directorate General for Internal Market and Services) is consulting stakeholders on their needs in relation to the legal framework and possible actions in the field of industrial property. More specifically, the Commission is consulting European players about the patent system in Europe, with the goal to make proposals to improve this system.

Many analysts consider this consultation as an opportunity for software patents lobbyists to bring back on the table their proposal to extend patentability to software.

A few months ago, the question of software patent had been fiercefully debated in the community and in the European Parliament, with intense lobbying from pro- and againt- software patents. The bottomline has been a massive rejection of the directive proposal for broader patentability of "computer implemented inventions", a mild wording for "software technologies". Along with other open source stakeholders, members of ObjectWeb have expressed their concerns about software patents. It is worth noticing that we got support in this respect from folks from outside Europe, e.g. the Apache Software Foundation.

So, today, the threat of software patents is surfacing again. I strongly encourage companies with interests in Europe to answer the consultation. A very good source of inspiration is Florian Mueller's position paper from his blog, and for French readers, the position paper from Gérald Sédrati-Dinet (FFII France), which I found very well put.

Recommended reading:


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