Politicians demand fresh start for patent directive

More than 60 MEPs from 13 countries have asked the EU to go back to the drawing board on the software patent directive
Written by Ingrid Marson, Contributor
Members of the European Parliament from countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden have asked for the software patent directive to be redone from scratch, according to a report on Monday.

A motion for restarting the legislative process on the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive has been signed by 61 MEPs from 13 countries, according to anti-patent Web site NoSoftwarePatents.com. The signatories include a former Polish prime minister, a former European Commissioner and three vice-presidents of the European Parliament. The motion has also been published on the FFII Web site.

Florian Mueller, the campaign manager of NoSoftwarePatents.com, said the motion has been given to the Tabling Office of the European Parliament (EP), through which all documents must passed before being discussed by MEPs in the EP. It will also be discussed by the legal affairs committee that is in charge of this directive next week, according to Mueller.

Mueller said it is important for the patent directive to be restarted because many MEPs did not take part in the initial discussion on the directive, as they belong to new member states or were voted in during the EP elections in June. "A majority of today's MEPs didn't get to participate in the first reading in 2003, and the governments of the new member states were barely finding their seats in the Council last May," said Mueller.

The patent directive was due to be ratified by the EU Council in December, but was taken off the agenda following a request from the Polish undersecretary of science and information.

Poland's last-minute intervention has made them popular with supporters of the anti-patent movement. A Web site set up to thank Poland for stopping the EU from ratifying the patent directive gathered over 25,000 votes within nine days and has now accumulated over 33,000 votes.

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