Feeds

Lobby groups go all out as EU patent deadline looms

Patents are good / bad. You choose

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.