[ffii] Software patents plot buried under amicus avalanche

Thomas Warwaris thomas.warwaris at liwest.at
Fri May 8 15:07:08 CEST 2009

PRESS RELEASE -- [ Europe / Economy / Innovation ]

         Software patents plot buried under amicus avalanche

Brussels, 8 May 2009 -- A record number of amicus briefs have been
received by European Patent Office (EPO) in their latest attempt to
justify granting of software patents.

The EPO's latest attempt to validate their widely criticized practice
of software patenting has been met with a much stronger response than
expected. This broad public interest comes in reaction to the referral
on the patentability of software to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The
referral procedure allows interested third parties to file statements
- Amicus Curiae Briefs - to present their views to the members of the
board. The Enlarged Board of Appeals asked for such statements to be
submitted by end of April and a total of 89 such statements have been
published by the Register so far.

"This is not an average legal procedure. This political case really is
about the interpretation tricks of the European Patent Office." says
FFII legal expert Georg Jakob. "It basically boils down to the European
Patent Office pondering how to continue patenting software despite the
law prohibiting the granting of such patents". FFII welcomes the
publicity the case has found because although the actual practice of
software patenting is widely criticised, a lobby of patent attorneys and
clients of the EPO, that already have invested in software patenting,
still keeps pushing for software patents despite the exclusion of
software in Article 52 of the European Patent Convention.

The submitted Amicus Curiae Briefs express a broad range of different
legal opinions concerning the EPO practice of patenting software and the
application of Art 52 of the European Patent Convention. "These letters
are not binding to the board" explains Georg Jakob "but given the
juridical complexity of the topic, their number and their content show
how problematic software patenting is. The EPO Board would miss a big
opportunity if they continue to ignore this discussion."


* FFII: EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal: Amicus Briefs

 * FFII: Submission to the Enlarged Board of Appeal] (pdf, in German)

 * EPO: G3/08: amicus curiae briefs

* Permanent link to this press release:


Ivan Villanueva 
Berlin office 
+49-160-23 160 13 
ivan at ffii.org 

Benjamin Henrion 
bhenrion at ffii.org 

About the FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in over fifty countries,
dedicated to the development of information goods for the public
benefit, based on copyright, free competition, and open standards. More
than 850 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted
the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning
exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.

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