[ffii] UEAPME: New proposal needed on patents for computer-implemented inventions

Jonas Maebe jmaebe at ffii.org
Tue Feb 8 22:24:24 CET 2005

   New proposal needed on patents for computer-implemented inventions

Brussels, 7 February 2005 -- UEAPME, the European association for small
and medium business and crafts, has welcomed the decision of the
European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee to ask the Commission to
make a fresh proposal on the patenting of computer-implemented

"A new proposal, which properly addresses the concerns of small and
medium businesses, is the only way to satisfactorily resolve the impasse
on and restore the credibility of the proposed directive," said
Hans-Werner Müller, UEAPME Secretary General. "In its current form, the
directive would be damaging for SMEs."

UEAPME is concerned that the directive would reinforce monopolisation in
the software sector and act as a barrier to innovation by SMEs and
micro-enterprises. The Commission should now take the opportunity to
introduce a new proposal, whereby patents would not be issued for pure
software products. UEAPME believes that these products are already
successfully covered by the copyrighting system, under which the
software sector has developed and continues to flourish.

Software clearly differs from other industrial computer products, which
may be better protected by patents. Software is, by nature, an organic
product that builds on pre-existing ideas. This process of open
sourcing, which has enabled innovation in the sector to thrive, would
become almost impossible under a patenting system. UEAPME does not
advocate free software, however introducing a patent for pure software,
and the costs that this would entail, would be damaging for small and
medium enterprises.

"The current proposal has been discredited by the serious divisions that
have left the decision-making process deadlocked. The Commission should
now act on the decision of the Parliament and bring forward a new, more
coherent and balanced proposal," concluded Mr Müller.

Further information: Maria CIMAGLIA, UEAPME Legal Affairs Advisor
Phone: 02 230 75 99

Richard More O'Ferrall, Press officer
Tel: +32 2 230 7599/ GSM: +32 477 44 38 42
Email: pressoffice at ueapme.com
Web: www.ueapme.com/pressroom

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