Unitary Patents and the European Patent Court

Carsten Agger agger at modspil.dk
Thu Apr 3 09:34:51 UTC 2014

As you may or may not know, on May 25 there's a referendum in Denmark
concerning whether to join the European Patent Court.

If the result of the referendum is a no, that means the new unitary
patent will not be valid in Denmark.

From a free software perspective this is kind of a no-brainer:
Currently, each year about 6,000 EPO patents (of all kinds) are
validated in Denmark.

When the unitary patent is introduced, we can expect that number to grow
to about 60,000. EPO's practices regarding software patents are very
dubious, and we have no idea how the new patent court will view
"computer implemented inventions"; but the whole setup is worrying.

I have co-authored an open letter to IT companies which was published on
the Danish web magazine Den Fri:


(also available on my own blog,

Apart from publishing it there, we have also sent it to all web bureaus
in the Aarhus area and plan to send it to all small/medium software
companies in Denmark.

We and many others, are also doing other things to get the no, of course.

It's a tall order: At least 30% of eligible voters must vote no for our
accession to the patent court to fall. A majority of say 29,9% against
20% of eligible voters would not be enough, and turnout for European
elections is traditionally low. Still, we hope the best.

General question: The European Court used to think the setup concerning
the new Patent Court is illegal. Do they still think that?


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