We won round one. The problem is, of course, that we have to win every round; the patent lobby only needs to win one.
Still, the profile-raising that has gone on means that it’s very unlikely that any legislature will pass patent legislation “on the nod” any more. And that has to be good.
Actually, we won it.
I can’t see any future legislation getting through without the amendments proposed. This was thrown out with such a majority vote that the opinion on software patentability in Europe is clear – the EC claims it will live up to it’s promise not to bring this up again.
Topher: no, we didn’t win at all. The proposal was bad for both sides (pro and contra software patents), so it was scrapped. But it’s a serious slap in the face for the Commission. The Commission was getting *** in the *** by the industry (including my own boss, sadly) and forgot who should be taking the decisions (the Parliament), and has chosen to ignore the negative vote of the Parliament. That’s why the Parliament voted 648 to 14 to drop the directive. Especially after the industry dropped their own support : “>http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=165600644&tid=5979>
I did my share by writing to a few MP’s that I know. I just got a SMS of one of them (a close friend of my father), who now wants his promised free beer :-) Who says that they can’t be bought ? Ha !
It’s not over yet, though …
You won??? Well not really, it just means that each country keeps its old patent office rules, which once again makes it harder to do business in the EU. At the present time all EU countries accept software patents, so in reality your victory has been lost. Sorry to shed the light of the the real world on your parade.
Yeah, Gerv, you have a typo. The first “one” should be “won.” :)
Oh, and congratulations on your employment w/ MoFo!
Anthony: I’m not so sure about that.
I’m from Ireland, so I had a look at Ireland’s rules on patentability – http://www.patentsoffice.ie/what-is-patentable.html
Therefore it doesn’t look like “all EU countries”, since Ireland does not allow pure software patents, or even software patents “as such”. EU countries generally based their legislation from the European Patent Convention, and the differing takes on the subject depend on how the EPC details were perceived by the individual countries.
I agree with your point that it makes it more difficult to file patents (in general) in the EU. But for that I blame the EU Council for submitting such a shoddy piece of work that it couldn’t be reasonably amended and passed in the Parliament. What the Council provided was not what Europe needs.
PS as Hunter said, congratulations to Gerv :-)
In Germany, it’s also not possible to enforce claims from software patents by law. But the European Patent Office accepts software patents, even if they are not enforceable. This leads to legal uncertainty.