[ffii] European Parliament says no to software patents, yes to innovation

Jonas Maebe jmaebe at ffii.org
Wed Jul 6 13:03:50 CEST 2005

European Parliament says no to software patents, yes to innovation

Strasbourg, 6 July 2005 -- The European Parliament today decided by a large
majority to reject the software patents directive. This rejection was the
logical answer to the Commission's refusal to restart the legislative process
in February and the Council's unwillingness to engage in any kind of dialogue
with the Parliament. The FFII congratulates the European Parliament on its
clear "no" to bad legislative proposals and procedures.

This is a great victory for those who have campaigned to ensure that European
innovation and competitiveness is protected from the threat of software and
business process patents. It marks the end of this attempt by the European
Commission to codify into law the US-style practice of the European Patent
Office. We believe that the Parliament's work, in particular the 21 compromise
amendments, provides a good basis on which future legislative projects can

Rejection provides breathing space for new initiatives based on all the
gained during the last five years. All institutions are now fully aware of the
concerns of all stakeholders. However, the fact that the Council Common
Position needs 21 amendments in order to be transformed into a coherent piece
of legislation indicates that the text is simply not ready to enter the
Conciliation between Parliament, Commission and Council. We hope the Commission
and Council will at least respond to the concerns raised by Parliament the next
time, in order to avoid this sort of backlash in the future.

Jonas Maebe, FFII Board Member, comments on the outcome of today's vote:

"This result clearly shows that thorough analysis, genuinely concerned citizens
and factual information have more impact than free ice-cream, boatloads of
hired lobbyists and outsourcing threats. I hope this turn of events can give
people new faith in the European decision making process. I also hope that it
will encourage the Council and Commission to model after the European
Parliament in terms of transparency and the ability of stakeholders to
participate in the decision-making process irrespective of their size."

The FFII wishes to thank all those people who have taken the time to contact
their representatives. We also thank the numerous volunteers who have so
generously given their time and energy. This is your victory as well as the

Background Information

Free ice-cream for patentability

Software patent lobbyists add boats to their arsenal

Pictures of the boating

Permanent link to this press release

Contact Information

Hartmut Pilch and Holger Blasum
FFII Munich Office
info at ffii.org

Rufus Pollock
rufus.pollock at ffii.org.uk

Jonas Maebe
jmaebe at ffii.org

Dieter Van Uytvanck
dietvu at village.uunet.be

About FFII -- http://www.ffii.org

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a
non-profit association registered in several European countries, which
is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. The FFII
supports the development of public information goods based on
copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 600 members,
3,000 companies and 90,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act
as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights
(intellectual property) in data processing. The FFII maintains offices
in Munich and Brussels and national supporter groups in most European

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