Feeds

European Parliament castrates software patent regs

Big Biz 0 - 1 Penguinistas (HT)

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The European Parliament today approved a draft Directive that paves the way for the introduction of software patents in Europe.

However, widespread protests from critics of the measures have succeeded in pulling much of the sting from the proposed regulations. A compromise resolution passed by MEPs features numerous amendments, the most important of which limits the scope of software patents to "true inventions".

US practices that allow the patenting of business methods have been dropped, the Dow Jones Newsletter reports.

That means ideas such as the "one-click" online shopping method patented in the US by Amazon.com are disallowed under the proposed European patent regulations.

There are also severe restrictions on the types of software that can be patented. For example software found in mobile phones, video recorders and set-top boxes can't be patented. And patents can only be enforced against end-users, not suppliers. Industry lobbyists are far from happy.

"Many inventions won't be worth patenting because the patent can't be enforced," said Leo Baumann, spokesman for the Brussels-based European Information and Communication Technology Association, told the Dow Jones Newsletter.

The amended resolution was passed by a majority of 364 votes to 153 with 33 abstentions by MEPs on its first reading today, Reuters reports.

The legislation will now be examined by the Council of Ministers, before returning in second reading to Strasbourg. Industry lobbyists are sure to try hard to get individual governments to reject amendments and adopt measures closer to the original proposals by the European Commission. Remember, the ones that sparked a wave of protest from an alliance of open source developers and others opposed to the original plans.

The issue of software patents has been put on the agenda for a November 10 meeting between government ministers from EU member states. ®

Related Stories

EU patent legislation will 'destroy small business'
EU delays software patents vote
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)

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.