Most recent full copy of Directive on patentability of computer implemented inventions

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at
Wed Aug 13 18:22:07 UTC 2003

On 13 Aug 2003 at 11:16, Xavi Drudis Ferran wrote:

> > I could probably get my MEP to get it if needs be. BTW, I think I
> > have over half the Irish MEP's against the directive in its current
> > form now. If I could get a recent copy, I can propose one simple
> > wording change which would completely change the impact (ie; patent
> > implementation not idea). Circulate widely that single amendment and
> > who knows, we might avert US-style software patents!
> But this is not specially new. What do you need exactly, a version of
> the directive as it would result if the JURI report was approved in
> plenary? (that is: the amendments passed in JURI integrated in the CEC
> proposal). Maybe I have missed that document, I don't know it exists.
> Is it what Joao has sent?.

The one he sent was spot on.

> Since you want to talk to MEPs who have to vote in plenary (Sept 1st
> 2003) the JURI report, you may be interested in the 4 pages summary at

>From the MEPs I've talked to, they all are very clear that this is a 
deeply unpopular law with individual engineers. Even Arlene 
McCarthy's report says so between the lines in her report.

What the MEPs seem to want is in short, succint terms, what 
amendments should they call for? In my view, patenting the 
implementation not idea could actually be a good idea and in the 
worst case scenario, it won't make things really awfully worse.

I appreciate your comments on patents plus all the FSF have written 
about the matter. But it's all useless - you all speak of "software 
patents" being bad full stop period. A MEP might know that and even 
agree, but the EU is *mandated* to enforce software patents. 
Therefore, you are fighting a war which cannot be won.

Instead you should accept that the EU *shall* have software patents, 
and this fight is all about making software patents as least damaging 
as possible. Therefore you should be proposing alternative forms of 
software patent ie; not Arlene McCarthy's proposal.

To differentiate, I use "US-style software patent" for anything which 
patents the idea behind a program. These must be avoided at all 
costs. I then propose a new and improved form of software patent 
patenting the implementation, one a MEP can debate for in their 
plenary session.

You all might be interested that the SME group in the EU parliament 
is very worried about the proposed directive but their proposed 
amendments aren't much use. Irish MEP Avril Doyle is on that 
committee and I am liasing with her wrt to tabling amendments. If the 
SME committee could come behind these amendments, they have a much 
louder voice than any one MEP or party.


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