Linux champion Munich welcomes patent delay

The mayor of Munich has hailed Poland's courageous stand on software patents, as his city government moves from Windows to open source
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

The mayor of German city Munich has welcomed the EU Council's failure to ratify a directive that could allow the widespread patenting of software in Europe, as the city had been concerned that software patents could scupper its plans to migrate to Linux.

The European Council had been scheduled to adopt the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. But the plan was derailed by Polish undersecretary of science and information technology Wlodzimierz Marcinski who successfully argued for a delay.

Christian Ude, the mayor of Munich, has hailed Marcinski's actions and hopes that changes can now be made to the directive.

"Thanks to the courageous action by the Polish representative it has become clear that the concerns that have been voiced [about the directive] have not yet been dispelled, and that a further discussion in the EU Council is urgently required," said Ude in a statement on Wednesday.

Munich Council announced earlier this year that it would move 14,000 desktop computers from Windows to Linux. This plan -- which would be the largest open source migration yet in the public sector -- was then temporarily shelved in early August over fears that the arrival of software patents would disrupt the rollout.

But by mid-August the LiMux project was moving again.

The four main political parties in Germany have joined forces to fight the introduction of software patents. In October they introduced a motion that demanded changes to the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive.

Ude said he hoped the German government would embrace the motion.

"I would very much welcome it if the federal government could support the demands by the German parliamentary motion for the clarity and legal certainty that the city of Munich has previously demanded," Ude added.

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