Update of Software Patents Agenda

karin kosina kyrah at gnu.org
Tue May 22 00:10:57 UTC 2001

Hash: SHA1

Hi all,

    Thanks, Olivier, for clarifying :) -- I guess somebody will sooner
or later (probably sooner) get mad at me for insisting on that issue,
but I want to know:

On Tue, 22 May 2001, Olivier Berger wrote:

> There are two parallel "efforts" towards software patentability :
> [...]
> Now, for the first one, if the states which belong the European
> Convention on Patents rule that they go to software patents, they are
> bound by this treaty [...]
> Now, for the second one, if the European Commission makes a directive
> (don't exactly know what role the parliament plays), each EU member
> country has to transcript this directive in national law, which involves
> having a  national parliament debate and vote, as far as France is
> concerned.

Now, doesn't that mean that if there is a directive by the European
Commission the European Patent Convention, too, will have to be changed?

I think yes, because:

Most European countries are EU members, and EU members must incorporate
EC directives into national law.

But how can a country sign a convention that makes software patents
illegal when those patents are legal in their own national law? They
can't, so they will either

    -   not sign the EPC (or adopt it, or whatever you do with
        conventions), or
    -   the EPC will be modified to also allow for software patents

Now, Mr. Hartmut Pilch (in his posting from Mon, 21 May 2001 08:39:01
+0200 (CEST)) seems to disagree with that view (and he is probably
right, and I am wrong, since I don't know much about legal issues at
all), but I do not see the logical mistake. It seems to me that this is
how it would work, and it's also a logical explaination why last
december the EPC was not changed (They're waiting for a EU decision
which will take the responsibility away from them.)

Any ideas?

Regards,                                     gpg - public key 0x1FE281EB
    Karin "kyrah" Kosina                                http://kyrah.net
[ please sign the petition against software patents at ]
[ http://petition.eurolinux.org  ]

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