Finland changes policy on software patents
Anticipating the new EU Directive on Patents, the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (PRH) decided to accept patents on software. Before, the Fins were a lot stricter than the European Patent Office. The reason for the change in policy is mind-boggling. Because the European Parliament seems to propose much more unpermissive rules than the Council or Commission, the new Software Patent Directive will be delayed and therefore Finland felt it had to suddenly soften its line.
On 21 February, the EP Industry Committee (ITRE) voted against almost all proposals for software patentability. The leading Parliamentary Committee however, is JURI, and it seems a lot more in favour of extensive patents on software. JURI will discuss the proposed new Patent Directive on 17 March and vote on 23 April. The vote in plenary is now scheduled for the session of 12-15 May.
EP – JURI draft report by Arlene McCarthy
EP – CULT opinion by Michel Rocard (20.01.2003)
EP – ITRE opinion by Elly Plooy-van Gorsel (20.02.2003)