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European Parliament votes to scrap software patent text

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The European Conference of Presidents (CoP) has given its blessing to a parliamentary request to restart the legislative process on the Computer Implemented Inventions (CII) directive. Parliament now has the green light to ask the Commission to send the legislation back to the drawing board.

The Scottish National Party immediately called on the commission to listen to the will of the elected representatives. Ian Hudghton, MEP, said: "The European Parliament is demanding at the very highest level that the Commission rethink its flawed strategy in the field of computer software. It's time for the Commission to play fair by Europe's software writers - and listen to the elected representatives."

Other opponents of the bill have responded cautiously. Hartmut Pilch, president of FFII, issued a statement warning that although the commission must consider parliament's request, it is by no means certain that it will honour it, nor that it would use the opportunity to draft what he called "a good text".

The next step is for the Commission to consider this restart request. If it grants the request, the bill goes back to the beginning. If it does not, the common position agreed last May will be accepted, and the bill will progress to its second reading. ®

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