EU delays patent decision

EU delays patent decision

Summary: The EU Council has postponed passing the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive until Tuesday - but opponents say it is pushing the legislation through in a way that 'puts diplomatic procedures above democratic principles'

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TOPICS: Government UK
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The EU directive that opponents fear will allow widespread software patenting within Europe will be passed without vote or debate on Tuesday, a day later than planned.

Last Friday a Council agenda stated that the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive would be adopted on Monday, but this has since been taken off Monday's agenda.

A spokeswoman for the EU Council said the directive will be passed at an Agriculture and Fisheries meeting on Tuesday. It is not included as an item on the published agenda for this meeting, but the EU spokeswoman said this is because it is an "A-item", and that such items are passed without vote or discussion.

The spokeswoman was unsure of the reason for the delay, but thought it may have been due to a translation issue. The EU must translate the documents on the directive into 20 EU languages before any decision can be passed.

This is the latest in a series of changes in the timing on the directive. The EU Council was due to adopt an official position on 24 September, after the EU Council members voted in May in favour of the change to the directive. This decision was then delayed until the end of November.

At the beginning of December a Belgian minister told his parliament that the decision would be postponed until 2005. A week later a Council agenda was put online, which indicated that the directive was likely to be passed within an environment or fishery meeting.

Since the initial vote on the directive, the voting weights of EU members have changed, which means that the EU Council members which initially supported the proposed directive no longer have a majority vote. Florian Mueller, the founder of an anti-patent Web site, said he is concerned that despite this change in voting weights the EU Council is still pushing ahead a decision.

"To me, the issue is not whether it's the Environment or the Agricultures and Fisheries Council where they formalise their decision," said Mueller. "The real problem is that they put diplomatic procedures above democratic principles. Without a qualified majority on the day of the actual decision, there should not be a decision. This has nothing to do with software patents. It's about EU democracy as a whole."

Topic: Government UK

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3 comments
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  • God save us (small businesses and individual software developers and consumers) from this corporate madness based on pure greed and nothing else.

    I'm afraid that in the future the centre of software innovation will gradually move away from the countries where strict software patents are accepted. Only people benefiting from strong software patents are a few big software corporations (that are afraid of competition). And in the long run even they may find out that they've actually shooted themselves in the leg when supporting this software patent foolishness.

    The politicians promoting this directive don't know what they are talking about and/or are just doing what some of their big corporate sponsors are telling them to do.

    Democracy? This a a good proof that the European Union is and has always been an anti-democratic union formed to restrict the power of local governments and democracy over corporate interests. EU Council is most of the time just pushing the corporate interests and little caring for democracry, small businesses or individual and human rights.
    anonymous
  • Hopefully these politicians will forget that there will be elections in the future and that by that time plenty of detailed material will surfice that will show to the public not only how much tax money, jobs and tech know-how got wasted in the mean time but also that today's politicians knew about that material fully and simply choose to ignore it.

    I can't wait to see the then public politicians of the current parties involved explain that to the public. Not to mention hearing the counter reactions from the opposing parties (we tried to save you from all that back then but they wouldn't allow it, will you allow them to do that to you again?).
    anonymous
  • Do read "The ethernet plug" part.

    http://kwiki.ffii.org/Martin041109En

    Hopefully you can "hermaphroditic matable insertable tongs longitudinally upstanding ribbs" that into your mind.
    anonymous