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EU Software patent bill thrown out

From the BBC (link)

The European Parliament voted 648 to 14 to reject the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive. … Hi-tech firms supporting the directive said it was vital to protect the fruits of their research and development.

Opponents said, if passed, the bill would lead to the patenting of software which would jeopardise the prospects of small firms and open source developers. …

The bill was intended to sweep away individual EU nations’ patent dispute systems in favour of one common procedure. … Dr John Collins, a partner at patent attorney Marks & Clerk said the decision was not a victory for opoonents of software patents. “Today’s outcome is a continuation of inconsistency and uncertainty with regard to software patenting across the EU,” he said. The anti-piracy Business Software Alliance said it would have welcomed harmonisation of European patent laws and the decision marked a time for reflection. …

More than 1,700 Europe-wide companies, represented by the Free Information Infrastructure UK (FFII-UK), joined the plea for the European Union to reject any law which patents software. The FFII-UK and many others feared the that the passing of the bill would lead to Europe following the US and allowing business processes to be patented[emphasis mine]. This has led to online store Amazon patenting and protecting its one-click shopping system.

Big technology firms, such as Philips, Nokia, Microsoft, Siemens, and telecoms firm Ericsson, continued to voice their support for the original bill.

Why, if an idea is bad, would anyone want to be consistent about it? (Except, of course, the “big technology firms” for whom it’s not such a bad idea at all.)

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Help stop infection of Europe with failed US software patent law

[Below copied from the “No EU Patents” page. Formatting modified, since I’m not sure how to replace my index page on]

STOP Software Patents!

We are asking our representatives in the European Parliament to
save Europe from software patents by following the
Buzek-Rocard-Duff amendments.

The Software Patents Directive, as approved by the European
Council of Ministers, would legalise US-style Software
in the European Union.

How you can help

If that happens, software developers will no longer own what they write and can be sued for selling or distributing their own software.
This would not only endanger your job, but the entire
European software sector.

On Wed the 6th of July, the European Parliament will have the last
chance to prevent this. To do so, 367 of the 732 members must be present and
vote for the right amendments.

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