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

Xavi Drudis Ferran xdrudis at
Fri Aug 15 10:45:48 UTC 2003

El Thu, Aug 14, 2003 at 05:45:00PM +0100, Ciaran O'Riordan deia:
> Hi Hartmut.
> The Irish MEPs have replied to us saying:
> "I'd rather fix the directive than just vote No, what must I do?"
> What must we tell them, in order to get the result we want?

I'm trying to finish an update +  translation of
about the procedure, where it is and what's next. But the gist is:

The ITRE and CULT EP committees already voted their amendments. 
Those amendments and the ones presented by the rapporteur in JURI, 
Arlene McCarthy, together with the rest of amendments in JURI were
voted in JURI already, and a subset were approved and got into the JURI report.

All amendments from McCarthy, rest of JURI, ITRE and CULT were 
analysed already before the JURI vote in this page:

This includes a score for each amendment. 

If you need a too brief summary, footnote 21 in the document


* [21]List of necessary amendments 4, 5, 9, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24,
25, 26, 27,28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 46, 48,50?, 51,
52, 54, , 59, 63, 65, 68, 70, 71. Cult4, Cult5, Cult6, Cult9, Cult11,
Cult18, Itre1, Itre2, Itre3, Itre11, Itre14, Itre15, Itre18,
Itre19. For more details on why these are needed and what other
options are there, and what are the consequences of each choice, see

and somewhere else it says the rest needed to be voted down. Unfortunately
the result of the JURI vote in June 17th 2003 was very different. 

Please note that the notation is:
- ItreXX is amendment XX in the ITRE committee opinion
- CultXX is amendment XX in the CULT committee opinion
- XX is amendment XX tabled for JURI 

The text of the amendments is in the swpat URL, extracted from official 
EP documents linked from

Since some of the amendments passed the vote and some not, all amendments
are renumbered, so the numbers of the amendments in the JURI report 
that plenary will vote are not the same numbers used in this document,
and many good amendments didn't make it into the JURI report. 

Plenary will vote only the following amendments:
- Those in the JURI report (that is, those accepted by JURI in the JURI 
vote 2003.6.17 which are mostly harmful, with some useful and some acceptable)
- Those tabled for plenary by a whole political group in EP before thursday, August 
28th 12:00
- Those tabled for plenary by 32 MEPs  before thursday, August
28th 12:00

Some MEPs/assistants prefer to table amendments that were already
tabled in the committees but failed in JURI (or in ITRE or CULT?),
because then they already have the support they got there to start
with. Some other prefer to table new amendments because the old ones
already failed, or because they want better amendments than what has
been tabled so far.

For those who want new amendments the FFII proposal can be a good inspiration.
There are 2 proposals. 
- a 50 odd amendments set correcting every wrong detail in the CEC proposal

- a small set of amendments but with bigger changes (one for instance 
  proposes erasing almost all the directive and replace it with something

No MEP can table amendments in plenary all alone, and of course 
the more amendments tabled the less probability for good ones to 
get enough votes, since it may cause dispersion. So consensus is indeed
necessary. This consensus implies that it is quite risky to give an
amendment to a MEP on monday August 25th afternoon (this is the day
MEPs should come back from holidays, AFAIK), because they may not 
have time to discuss the amendments with their group or with other 31 MEPs.
It's not impossible, but it's not easy. 

In addition to all that, public discussion of amendments or political 
strategies of MEPs and groups before those are officialy published 
may alienate some MEPs for good reasons (and also for bad reasons), 
and make the work more difficult. It might also somehow make the amendments
stronger, but that depends on the MEP views, I guess.

For all these reasons, I believe it is difficult to propose amendments to 
MEPs in a distributed fashion, although all these information can be 
made available to them. It's possibly too much information for the 
average MEP/assistant to digest, but hopefully when one gets 
in touch with them one has already digested it and can ask their 
questions or explain how good or bad their proposals are. 

I think the most important goal is getting your MEP in contact with 
other anti-swpat MEPs, and make them understand the basic problems 
in the JURI report. Some of the anti-swpat MEPs have spoken publically,
see for instance this post or some links from there:

For anything more concrete either the lobbier or 
the assistant/MEP can contact  europarl-<country code>
(or even me as last resort).

> > > "Unless amendments X, Y, and Z are passed, you must vote No".

Yes, this is a decision MEPs must make, because after they have 
voted what they wanted for each amendment they must decide whether 
to accept the whole lot of amendments depending on the result 
of the voting, that is, on what the rest of MEPs have voted.
So this can only be suggested as a rule to evaluate "at runtime" 
not as a precomputed yes or no. 

It would be helpful if we could suggest such a rule, but as for the
rest, it is too soon now (see below).

> Does FFII know what X, Y, and Z are?
> I am assuming that good amendments exist, and that they have
> names or document numbers.

Note than the list of tabled amendments for plenary (and therefore
their numbers) won't be known until thursday august 28th afternoon or
evening.  And then there's still the order in which they will be voted
that matters, because sometimes one amendment approved can cause other
amendments for the same paragraph to fail (i.e. not be voted at
all). So depending on the order they are voted you may play some
tricks that change the voting list. I don't think this order is ever
published before the plenary vote, so the perfect voting list may 
be impossible to produce on time, although after some analysis starting
on august 28th night some approximation may be possible. 

> Can anyone tell me the list of names or document numbers that our
> MEPs must vote Yes for?

Not yet, sorry. 

For now, sensibilisation work in the EP is important, as is information 
to the press. If we can get "important" lobbiers, that's also helpful 
(for instance companies that sell or even use software signing the 
call for action, or directly lobbying EP, etc.
Call for action:

Xavi Drudis Ferran
xdrudis at

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