You may remember that I raised the patent issue a week or two back,
there may be more position papers on it soon.
There is an article here
http://uk.builder.com/0,39026540,39301679,00.htm on uk.builder.com about
>From the fsfe-ie list:
NEW EU PATENT POLICY PROJECT: ANTI-SOFTWARE PATENT CAMPAIGNER RESPONDS
TO EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S QUESTIONNAIRE
Companies, organizations and citizens encouraged to submit prepared set
of answers to the EC in their own name "in order to stress that most of
Europe's IT industry is against software patents and patent inflation" --
Deadline for writing to the EC is March 31
Brussels (March 8, 2006) -- On January 16, the European Commission (EC)
published a questionnaire on the future of the European patent system,
covering a broad range of policy issues such as an EU-wide community
patent, the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA), and other
measures of streamlining the European patent system. Such consultations
are preparatory to new legislative proposals, which pundits expect the
EC to put forward after the summer.
Some campaigners have already warned that the EU is once again working
on ways to strengthen the legal basis of software patents in Europe.
Pro-patent lobbyists such as SAP lawyer Guenther Schmalz confirmed in
public that "it is starting again". The European Parliament had thrown
out a proposal for a software patent directive on July 6 last year.
Companies, organizations and individuals who would like to tell the EU
their opinion on what its patent policy should look like have until the
end of this month to answer the EC's questionnaire. But in order to do
so, "one has to wade through hundreds of pages of legislative proposals
and related documentation", according to Florian Mueller, the founder of
the award-winning NoSoftwarePatents campaign: "It's the usual EU
lobby-crazy. Still it's very important that many of us write to the EC
in order to stress that most of Europe's IT industry is against software
patents and patent inflation."
The campaigner, who has been listed among the "top 50 most influential
figures in intellectual property", today published a 13-page position
paper as a PDF file
in his blog. Everyone is free to submit that document to the EC in his
A three-page "Quick Facts" PDF document
what the new EU patent policy project is about and why it is important
from the perspective of software patents. According to Mueller, some of
the proposals could be agreed upon at the intergovernmental level
without any decision-making authority on the part of the European
Parliament, which is feared by pro-patent lobbyists because of its
landmark decisions in 2003 and 2005. But national parliaments, several
of which expressed opinions during the row over the software patent
directive, may have a more influential role this time: some decisions
may have to be ratified by them.
Mueller's position paper is already supported by 1&1 Internet AG
(Europe's largest Web hosting company), Materna GmbH (a German IT and
telecommunications company), and MySQL AB (Europe's largest open-source
NOTE: Florian Mueller founded the NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign in 2004
with the support of three corporate sponsors (1&1, Red Hat, MySQL AB),
and managed it until March of 2005. He then gave his website to the
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), the leading
European pressure group that opposes the patentability of computer
programs. In connection with the EU's new patent policy initiative,
Mueller is active on behalf of a group of European IT companies,
including Europe's largest Web hosting company 1&1 Internet AG, German
IT and telecommunications company Materna GmbH, and Swedish-based MySQL
AB, Europe's largest open-source software company.
For his efforts against software patents, Mueller has been nominated as
one of the "top 50 most influential figures in intellectual property" by
Managing Intellectual Property magazine, and as one of the 50 "Silicon
Agenda Setters". His NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign received the "CNET
Networks UK Technology Award" in the "Outstanding Contribution to
Software Development" category, and the EU-focused newspaper European
Voice lists him as the European "Campaigner of the Year 2005"
(www.EV50.com) after he received more votes in a public poll than U2
frontman Bono and other candidates.
fmueller.nosoftwarepatents at gmail.com
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