Feeds

MEPs call for fresh start on software patents

A new year's resolution, no less

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

A group of MEPs has asked the European Parliament for a fresh start in the debate on computer-implemented inventions. The 61 members, from 13 countries, have tabled a "motion for a resolution" to restart the legislative process, effectively taking the debate on software patents back to square one.

The group is "of the opinion that conditions for a renewed referral have been met; and calls on the Commission to refer its proposal again to Parliament". It says the restart is needed because the vote on the directive straddled two parliaments.

Once again, Poland is at the forefront, with former Polish prime minister Jerzy Buzek heading the list and Poland's MEPs accounting for 31 signatories. Two MEPs from Germany and four from the Netherlands also signed. No UK representatives have put their name to the document, despite promises from various parties to oppose the directive in its current form.

Florian Mueller, director of campaign group NoSoftwarePatents, says the option to restart provides a "potentially face-saving" exit for the Council of Ministers. "[The Council] is caught between a rock and a hard place," he says. "Because it would either have to depart from an unwritten diplomatic code and renegotiate its position now, or it would have to decide against all democratic principles."

Patent lawyers Marks&Clark accuse campaigners against the directive of "misinforming industry and serving only to endanger genuine inventions.

"The directive was originally proposed to provide uniformity in the EU...so that innovators could be certain that their patents are valid throughout the EU. We should not allow this objective to be undermined."

The motion must be accepted either by the committee in charge, in this case the legal affairs committee, or by a plenary vote.

The committee will make its call as early as this month (January). The next plenary session begins late next month. ®

Related stories

IBM pledges 500 patents to OS developers
Gates holds forth on Red Menace of IP law reform
How Microsoft played the patent card, and failed

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.