Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) have hit the panic button on the likelihood of the Council of Ministers overturning the European Parliament's stance on software patents and adopting a draft text from November last year. The ministers' meeting scheduled for 10th November is to be "negotiated" at a meeting of senior patent officials from across Europe tomorrow, Thursday 23rd October.

FFII want anyone with concerns about the issue to write to their MP immediately.

I can only echo Tim O'Reilly that it defies belief that just because something, which is otherwise obvious, can be done on a computer, that it can be considered new or to involve an inventive step. Yet that is what the proposals from last November would facilitate. Again this is slightly academic because the European Patent Office have been granting these kind of patents since about the mid 1990s. FFII, however, are keen to have any formal EU wide legislation on this firmly put a spoke in that particular works.

They've been very successful lobbying the EU parliament in that regard. They may find it harder to outmanoeuvre the patent officials and the Council of Ministers.

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