Capaigning against software patents

xdrudis at xdrudis at
Wed Dec 4 10:29:43 UTC 2002

Deleting Art52.3 from European Patent Convention (EPC) is an option, yes. 

I just wanted to note (but mayeb didn't) that the current 
issue is a directive proposal by the Commission. This directive 
cannot directly change the EPC. The EPC is a convention between 
24 states (and more soon) independent of the UE. The 15 UE 
states have the majority, I guess, and possibly could change it. 
So possibly a directive could instruct the member states to 
hold a EPC meeting and change the EPC, but I wonder how likely 
this is. This should not be ruled out. 

In fact the longer term solution for me is to reform or replace
the EPO so that it reports to the European Parliament and is kept 
under strict democratic control. But this is a little farther in the
horizon. For now we have a directive proposal on the table. 
Options are rejecting it or ammending it. Rejecting it is not bad, 
but the nov 7th conference seemed to show some consensus that passing 
some directive could be good for allowing the European Court of Justice
to decide on EPO patent matters and not enforce software patents. 
Nowadays this is up to each state courts. So good ammendments could be 
better than rejection, IMHO.

>Do you think that to not accept patentability of ideas - even if very
>innovative - expressed in any creative form - included computer language
>- is too much simplicistic? Or it is just as simple as possible? ;-)

This is the basic idea. You just have to be a little more verbose in a
directive though. On the other hand I guess the proswpat people would
say ideas have never been patentable, only applications in devices or 
processes are (or something like that). This distinction breaks if 
you try to include software as patentable device or process, which 
it isn't. In a way, you have to speak their language to some extend
(and stop them from polluting your language, too). 

Xavi Drudis Ferran
xdrudis at

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