Update of Software Patents Agenda

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Fri May 18 13:32:08 UTC 2001

On Fri, May 18, 2001 at 02:33:54PM +0200, loic at gnu.org wrote:
> karin kosina writes:

>  >     maybe that's a stupid question, but *who* will make the final
>  > decision about whether software patents will be legal? I figure it's the
>  > European Commission, but is that true?

Loic's answer is correct but in practice it is a lot more complicated
as with all these matters. It is never as finally decided as it looks.
Probably we should seek a more specialisted forum to discuss this.

The mentioned exclusion below for instance did not prevent the European
patent office from granting a huge number of patents which actually
are patenting computer programs.


> 	From http://www.fsfeurope.org/swpat/swpat.en.html
> PATENT CONVENTION) (published in 1973 and revised December, 17th 1991)
> explicitly excludes programs for computers from the field of
> patentable inventions (article 52.2). This convention is voted by
> representatives of each european country and is binding for all of
> them.
> 	Therefore it is not the European Commission. However the European
> Commission has a great influence and in that respect plays an important
> role in the final decision.
> 	I added the fact that the European Commission does not rule this
> case to the page.
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