Feeds

Lobby groups go all out as EU patent deadline looms

Patents are good / bad. You choose

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

As the timer counts down to the next big vote on the European software patents directive, two groups representing small businesses in the region have launched last ditch efforts to persuade MEPs of the dangers or merits of the current form of the bill.

The Campaign for Creativity, a pro-patent lobby group, has called for MEPs to support what it calls "strong patent protection of computer implemented inventions". A rejection of the directive now would have a negative impact on jobs and growth in the European Union, it warns.

The group stressed that software patents are indeed important to smaller businesses as well as large corporate players, citing a Business Software Alliance study that found one in five patents is held by a small or medium-sized company.

Of course, the flip side of that is that four out of five patents are held by large firms. We just wanted to point that out.

Meanwhile, The Economic Majority, a new anti-software-patent lobby group backed by the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), argues that most small businesses in Europe are not in favour of a strong software patent regime.

It says that the European Commission's assertion that there is an "economic majority in favour of software patents" is wrong, and based on flawed research: In 2000, the Commission canvassed opinion about extending patentability. According to the FFII, 90 per cent of respondents did not support extending patentability of software, but said the Commission disregarded these responses as being not "economically representative".

Last week the Parliamentary JURI committee voted to scrap most of the amendments to the directive that had been proposed to restrict the patentability of pure software inventions. This provoked as much criticism from the anti-software patent camp as it drew praise from Eicta, the trade body representing big technology companies.

Critics of the bill say the current form of the directive allows for direct software patentability of computer programs, data structures and process descriptions, and will pave the way for a software patent arms-race, as seen in the US.

The European Parliament is set to vote on the directive in its next plenary session in Strasbourg, on 6 July. The consensus is that it is likely to follow the line taken by the JURI committee. ®

Related stories

EU jettisons software patent amendments
Court rules against E-Data in 'Freeny' patent case
Free software fans take a stand against software patents

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.