Friday, May 21, 2004

The EU Software Patent Saga Continues: The European Commission (EC) has passed a controversial directive that opponents claim will bolster the lot of big companies at the expense of small ones and will stifle innovation.

The so-called Computer-Implemented Inventions directive, which would harmonize how software patents are issued throughout the European Union, created a furor when it was proposed last year. Protestors took to the streets in Brussels, Belgium, and passive Web site demonstrations were held on the Internet.

Supporters of the measure are putting a benign face on it. "There are already plenty of software patents in Europe -- more than 30,000 of them," maintained Francisco Medeiros, public affairs director for the Business Software Alliance , which represents some of the largest software makers in the world.

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