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EU Commission calls for "software invention" harmonization laws
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-02-28
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - February 21, 2002

The European Commission has presented a proposal on the protection by patents of computer-implemented inventions meant to harmonise the way in which national patent laws deal with inventions using software, it says, going on: "Such inventions can already be patented by applying to either the European Patent Office (EPO) or the national patent offices of the Member States, but the detailed conditions for patentability may vary. A significant barrier to trade in patented products within the Internal Market exists as long as certain inventions can be protected by patent in some Member States but not others.

"The proposed Directive will be submitted to the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for adoption under the so-called 'co-decision' procedure."

Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein stated, "European industry needs a legal environment that encourages innovation without stifling competition. We need certainty over what can, and cannot, be patented. The proposed Directive would provide this certainty by making the conditions for patentability of computer-implemented inventions clear and uniform. Current law on this question was drafted in the early 1970s when there was no inkling of what was to come in the shape of modern computers and networks, not to mention the emergence of a software industry worth billions of euros.

"The courts have done their best to develop the law in response to the changing environment, but there is now no alternative to legislation at European level to prevent potentially divergent interpretations by the courts."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Patents: EU Commission Proposes Rules For Inventions Using Software


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