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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.