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

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at
Wed Aug 13 23:54:27 UTC 2003

On 13 Aug 2003 at 23:56, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:

>   In Ireland, we've worked hard on the patents issue.  The
> response we get is that they know the directive is bad but
> they don't want to vote against it, they want to amend it (so
> that the process won't have been a complete waste of time and
> money).

Precisely what I've been hearing. I've still pointed out that the 
"process" didn't bother consulting actual real engineers like the 
droves who have been writing in to complain. This says to me that the 
process is broken.

>   No matter how hard it is, we have to find a set of
> amendments that will make us happy.  We then say to our MEPs
> "Unless amendments X, Y, and Z are passed, you must vote No".
> This gives us a chance to get a good law passed, and it gives
> our MEPs a firm reason to vote No if needs be.

If there were any chance it could be struck down, I'd be far happier. 
But sure, the one amendment changing the patenting from idea to 
implementation would utterly alter the impact of the law. A nice 
second amendment would be the total prohibiting of any monopoly of 
development of idea in software, then we could clean up those 
marginal cases from happening.

>   Does anyone know of a good/agreed set of amendments?
> I'll try to work out a set myself if no one knows.  I think
> the Greens/EFA drafted an amendment, I'll start by looking for
> this one.
>   We must rally around one set of amendments rather than
> end up with 4 good amendments each getting a quarter of
> our support.

Agreed. However, I fear the real fight will be coming at the three 
year review stage where the multinationals will be pushing for much 
expanded ability to patent things and everyone else will be pushing 
the other way.

Ultimately I think only a large wodge of campaign money will make any 
difference as these things always do. And that'll only come from EU 
businesses getting it in the neck.


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