Feeds

EU jettisons software patent amendments

Big business happy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The European Directive on Computer Implemented Inventions edged closer to becoming law, yesterday, when the Parliamentary JURI committee voted to scrap most of the amendments to the directive put in place to restrict the patentability of pure software inventions.

Some of the changes proposed by Michel Roccard, the bill's rapporteur, were kept. For instance, the definition of "technical" has been pinned down as "belonging to a field of technology", and a field of technology has been defined as "a field of applied natural science". This amendment has been welcomed by anti-software patent campaigners at the FFII, who argue that the inclusion of the word "natural" rules out patents on business methods and maths.

However, much of the original directive remains. For example, the paragraph covering exclusions from patentability has not been changed. The FFII warns that this section could still be interpreted to mean that only source code is excluded from being patented, rather than pure software inventions.

In a statement on its website, the FFII warns that although some symbolically important amendments have been retained, "the result overall leaves the key loopholes of the Council's text wide open, and in some cases even widened further."

The JURI vote still needs to be officially ratified by Parliament, which is slated to meet on 6 July to have its final vote. Parliament has opposed the directive every step of the way, so far, but it is unusual for the MEPs to vote against their own committee.

The result of the JURI vote has, unsurprisingly, been welcomed by EICTA, the pan-European IT trade body. President Mark MacCann described the outcome as "a pretty good result", the FT reports.

The FFII has details of the amendments here. ®

Related stories

Free software fans take a stand against software patents
Patent Office makes a technical contribution
EU takes axe to software patents directive

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.