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10.09.12

Contact European Parliament Members Today to Stop Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: A vote that can legitimise software patents in the EU is imminent; cautionary tale from New Zealand (NZ) is recalled

Last month the pirate and green parties voted for policies that legitimise software patents in Europe.

Glyn Moody says that this is “getting silly” because awareness should have sufficed to stop this. “Over the last year,” he argues, “I’ve been warning about problems with the EU’s plan to bring in a Unitary Patent system, culminating in a call to write to your MEPs a few weeks ago about an imminent vote that was taking place in the crucial JURI committee. That didn’t take place, but word is that the committee vote will now take place this Thursday…”

That’s tomorrow!

See this post for advice on what to write. April wrote about it as well, stating: “The October agenda of the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament has been published. A discussion on the unitary parent is planned for the 11th of October, from 10:45 to 12:00. It is thus the moment to mobilise and to inform MEPs on the threat of the return of software patents, before new decisions are taken on the future of the regulation.”

Another European blogger notes that: “It looks as though Polish undersecretary of science and information technology, Wlodzimierz Marcinski, has scuppered the EU Council’s attempts to sneak the software patents directive through on the nod at an agriculture meeting.”

Remembering the Lobby in New Zealand

We should learn from what happened in New Zealand, where an elected official got accused of “betrayal”. To quote the local press: “The Open Source Society has accused the Government of “betrayal” after Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced a “minor amendment” to the Patents Bills, clarifying the status of computer software.

“Foss said the effect of the change was that while computer programs would not be an invention for the purposes of the bill, patents could be granted for inventions that included computer programs.”

Here is what IDG published when the subject became a hot one and NZICT (see links at the bottom) got exposed again, then ostracised along with a “clueless minister” who stood behind changes to a bill. There was already a lot of coverage about it a month ago.

Let’s prevent the EU from going down the route of corruption by lobbying.

More about NZICT:

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