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[ NNSquad ] Abolish software patents in European Parliament vote on "Patent Package" 11 December 2012

Dear Lauren,

The European Parliament votes on abolition of Software Patents on Tuesday 11 December 2012.

If Amendment 73 and 74 to the "Patent Package" gets a majority, the Court of Justice of the European Union would be empowered to interpret a EU wide patent law which would say that programs for computers are not inventions. That law would restate very strongly the subject matter test that also exists in the US - you cannot get a patent on an algorithm - but adding that it doesn't help if you run that algorithm on a computer.

The Patent Package is otherwise a constitutional exercise. It's an attempt to put an end to the power struggle between the old European intergovernmental patent system and the new supranational EU structure. In the "compromise" put before Plenary on Tuesday, the old governments have won, and if it gets a majority, the EU will no longer have anything substantial to say about patents. All and everything will be run by the same old people in the same old Munich Patent Office with the same old customers.

The voting list is now on-line: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sed/doc/votingList/(A7-0001_2012).pdf

And here are the amendments: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2012-0001&language=EN

At least one industry group has come out in favour of postponing the decision. Openforum Europe (OFE) takes that line: "the EU should take more time to get it right", see http://www.openforumeurope.org/press-room/press-releases/patent%20press%20release%20pm.mb.pm.js.pm.7.12.12.pdf

An amendment with that effect has been tabled and will be voted first of all. It is Amendment 68rev: "Matter referred back to committee".

European activists are also campaigning "For a Democratic Innovation Policy in Europe", see http://unitary-patent.eu/

I hope you find this informative and interesting.

Best regards.


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