Feeds

EU delays software patents vote

Pausing for thought

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The European Parliament has postponed a vote on the software patents directive following protests by computer scientists and economists.

A demo outside the Parliament in Brussels, attended by an estimated 400 last week, and an online protest involving more than 2,000 websites temporarily blacking out their front pages has put pressure on legislators. This, combined with the many thousands who have signed an online petition opposing the change in European patent rules, has prompted Brussels to pause for thought.

The vote, due to take place yesterday (September 1), has been put back to September 22. The delay creates an opportunity for the European Union's Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (JURI) committee to reconsider Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy's pro-patent report.

She recommended that European rules patenting software should be relaxed in line with existing laws in the US and Japan.

Essentially, the European Commission is proposing to override the current European patent rules (which explicitly state that "mathematical methods, schemes and rules for mental activity, methods of doing business and programs for computers are not patentable inventions"). These would be replaced with a set of regulations which will make it very difficult for national courts to reject patents for algorithms and business methods such as Amazon One Click Shopping patent.

Open Source opponents argue this change in the rules would stifle innovation and tilt power even further to big multi-national corporations.

Some economists also criticise the notion that software patents promote business growth.

Kieren McCarthy's article delves into the issues. It's a must-read if you are interested in the EU software patents debate. ®

Related Stories

Protesters to march against EU software law
EU software patents: the readers speak
Open source prepares to kiss EU patent ass goodbye

External Links

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (which has led the opposition to changes in European patent laws) and the economic arguments against patent law

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.