Update of Software Patents Agenda

loic at gnu.org loic at gnu.org
Mon May 21 00:13:40 UTC 2001

[ Disregard if in a hurry. No question, just my understanding of the
  European machanics ;-]

Francois PELLEGRINI writes:
 > Indeed, if the EPO allowed the patenting of software, they would be
 > in an illegitimate situation, since national laws have accepted the
 > fact that software is not patentable.
 > So they preferred to push forward the patenting of software in the
 > European patent directive, to which european nations will have to
 > comply and thus change their national laws to admit the patenting
 > of software.

	I discussed the subject with a friend yesterday. He is more
litterate than I am in European things. I'll summarize what he said and
I'll appreciate if you could tell me if it's correct:

	The EPC is voted by government representative
	Then the EPC must be translated into laws in each countries
	 (in france by the parliament for instance). 
	The EPC is only active in a given country *after* it's translated
	 therefore the EPC does not enter in action immediately and 
	 countries can refuse to apply it, although it's very unlikely

	My friend told me that a number of international conventions
were signed by government representatives and never applied because each
parliament in each country refused to validate it. 

	The rationale is simple : the parliament makes the law, not the
government representative who signs the convention. And since the EPC
is legally binding, it makes sense.

	It certainly makes things pretty complex for the EPO since the
old EPC will be in action for some time before the EPC modified in Nov 2000
is in action everywhere.


Loic   Dachary         http://www.dachary.org/  loic at dachary.org
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