Dutch EU presidency critical about software patents

By EDRi · September 22, 2004

The Dutch EU presidency has commissioned a report with very critical remarks about software patents. “The mild regime of IP protection in the past has led to a very innovative and competitive software industry with low entry barriers. A software patent, which serves to protect invention of a non-technical nature, could kill the high innovation rate.(…) Only very few European companies have prepared themselves for the consequences of a software patent regime. It raises the question how the introduction of the European software patent interacts with a European strategy based on the widespread use of ICT’s.” (page 50)

As commissioner of this report, the Dutch Minister of Economical Affairs, Brinkhorst, makes a remarkable shift in position. In the European Council of ministers of economical affairs on 18 May, he agreed with the Council’s position in endorsing software patents. The Dutch parliament than, on 1 July 2004, adopted a motion urging him to change his vote into an abstention. He didn’t respond in a manner that satisfied the parliament, and new questions were raised on 31 August.

The report ‘Rethinking the European ICT Agenda’ presents 10 so-called ‘breakthroughs’ to rethink and revitalise the Lisbon Agenda.

Rethinking the European ICT Agenda (August 2004) http://www.ez.nl/content.jsp?objectid=24583