Unitary patent brings back the software patents debate

By EDRi · September 12, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Einheitspatent heizt Debatte um Software-Patente neuerlich an | https://www.unwatched.org/EDRigram_10.17_Einheitspatent_heizt%20_Debatte_um_Software_Patente_neuerlich_an?pk_campaign=edri&pk_kwd=20120918]

The Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament is
preparing these days in view of the discussion on unitary patent on
17 and 18 September 2012. The issue of interest is whether these
discussions will bring back the return of software patents as it seems
to be the case, having in view the recent patent wars in the US (like
that of Apple against Samsung). There is also the threat of letting
companies monopolise the market thus preventing innovation and the
introduction of new products.

Several groups, like April and FSFE, call for a general mobilisation to
contact all MEPs, so that the European Parliament finally tackles the
issue of the software patentability.

“Software patents are a real scourge for companies and software
developers. They do not contribute to innovation whatsoever, but prevent
us from developing new products while exposing us to ever increasing
legal uncertainty,” stated Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, April’s patent advisor.

Although European laws prohibit software patents, the European Patent
Office (EPO) has been trying for years to legalize software patents and,
under the new proposal to be discussed, the power and control on the law
on patentability would be left to an organisation, without any
democratic control or the opinion to go before an independent court.

Under the current proposal, the EPO has the right to award a patent,
but also takes the final decision on whether it remains valid when
someone complains, while the final court to decide on patent complaints
should be the European Court of Justice which has already warned that
the current proposal is incompatible with EU laws. The patent system
should be politically controlled by the European Parliament and should
benefit of proper checks and balances.

Ideally, the European Parliament must ensure that computer programs are
excluded from patentability, making clear that they cannot be patented
just because they run on generic data processing hardware.

I call!

General mobilisation against the return of software patents in Europe

No patents on software: Unitary patent threatens innovation in Europe

EU: the unitary patent (5.09.2012)