EU Parliament Rejects Software Patents

By | February 18, 2005

The European Parliament on Thursday has rejected the European Computer Implemented Inventions Directive that would have allowed software that is part of a device to be patented.

Heads of political factions in the European Union´s assembly agreed unanimously to send the proposal back to the EU´s head office for another look. This could delay the passage of any bill by several months and could see it being scrapped.

“Where intellectual property can be adequately protected, European creators can prosper,” said Hugo Lueders, director for public policy in Europe of CompTIA. “The benefits of the agreement have been obscured by special interests, working to muddy the waters,” he added.

Critics of the legislation say it would harm small software developers who lack big companies´ legal muscle. Some also fear it would restrict the amount of so-called “open source” software available for free. In contrast, industry players argue the current position does not allow them to protect inventions they spend years developing.

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