The European Parliament ready to vote on EPLA

By EDRi · October 11, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

The European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) will be the subject of a
motion for a resolution in the European Parliament, after a compromise was
made and filed by the three big groups of MEPs (EPP-ED, PES and ALDE).

The three groups drafted a motion that ” urges the Commission to explore all
possible ways of improving the patent and patent litigation systems in the
EU, including participation in further discussions on the EPLA and acceding
to the Munich Convention as well as revising the Community Patent proposals;
as regards the EPLA, considers that the proposed text needs significant
improvements and a satisfactory proposal for the Rules of Procedure of the
EPLA Court”.

Florian Mueller, anti-software patent campaigner referred to the proposal
made by the three groups as a “pretty reasonable compromise”, and a
“defensive victory” for the anti-EPLA partisans.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has described
the same resolution proposal as “a compromised compromise” but expects the
EP to adopt an improved version. FFII staff works to gain substantial

The European Patent Office is pushing hard towards the creation of an
“enhanced patent culture” in Europe, as expressed by its President, Alain
Pompidou during the EPO online services conference in Lisbon on 9 October.

The critics of the proposal believe that EPO will be given too much power,
that it would result in an increase of costs for enforcing and challenging a
patent. This would also lead to legitimising software patents and undermine
the judiciary systems.

EP will vote on 12 October 2006 on a motion for a resolution concerning the
EPLA. The Greens, GUE/NGL and a group of EPP/PES/ALDE MEPs lead by Zverina
MEP have each tabled their own amendments which could improve the motion.

Jonas Maebe from FFII commented on this :
” They want to remove a request for the EU to accede to the European
Patent Convention, since that would transfer many EU patent-related
competences to the mostly unaccountable European Patent Organisation.
And rather than merely asking to improve the EPLA, they mention the
actual problems with this draft agreement: the lack of
accountability, cost and judicial independence concerns. Finally,
they also ask for an opinion of the European Court of Justice
regarding treaty-related concerns and once more stress the quality
problems that plague the European Patent Office’s output.

We hope that these modest yet important amendments will receive
significant support from MEPs. Not amended, the compromise motion
would only call for removing democratic control and independent
judicial oversight from as many EU patent competences as possible. We
do not believe this is something most Members really want.”

FFII France – Patents and Innovation in danger at the European Parliament
(only in French, 11.10.2006)

Patentmeister weighs in on Euro IP system (9.10.06)

A compromise in European patenting debate? (5.10.06)

Commissioner says EU patent doubts ‘legitimate’

Commission statement – Future action in the field of patents
European Parliament Plenary Session, Strasbourg, (28.09.2006)

EDRI-gram: Europe faces software patents threat again (27.09.2006)