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08.05.13

European Commission Takes Next Step Towards Legalising Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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European Commission Room Open Day

Summary: The role played by the European Commission in making software patents exportable from the United States where they originate and cause a huge amount of damage

SOME time later this year we will publish a short interview segment where Richard Stallman (RMS) explains why the unitary patent is the latest threat of introducing software patents in Europe. He spoke about it before, but we recently got an exclusive face-to-face interview. Famously, wrote Stallman, “[s]taff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.”

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up,” Stallman added.

Software patents are not exactly dead in Europe (unofficially they’re alive) and some European patent lawyers like Volker ‘Falk’ Metzler track the unitary patent, stating that:

the task is to implement the Unified Patent Court as a court common to a subset of EU member states and subject to the same obligations under EU law as any other national court. A similar situation applies to the Benelux Court of Justice. As this court up to now only provided preliminary rulings on interpretation of the national law of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg, it is now receiving new jurisdictional competences from the national courts of those three countries, thus giving cause to an adaptation of the Brussels I Regulation as well.

Well, those patent lawyers also note this official word, adding that the “EU Commission suggests changes to Brussels I Regulation to determine jurisdiction of Unified Patent Court” (link).

“EU Commission to amend #Brussels_I in preparation of UPC,” they command (these patent lawyers have covered the Unified Patent Court for years, so this latest update is probably reliable).

It is not unusual for the European Commission to make moves that legitimise software patents, going as much as half a decade back,

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