Thursday, November 18, 2004

EU SOFTWARE PATENT INITIATIVE LOOKS DEAD: The Polish government has said it will not support a controversial European directive, delivering a potential blow to attempts to make software patentable in Europe.

The Polish government said Tuesday that it could not support the proposed Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions that was agreed on by the EU Council earlier this year.
"Because of numerous ambiguity and contradictions respecting the current directive project, Poland cannot support the text which was accepted in the vote of the Council on May 18, 2004," the Polish government said in a statement.

It added that it would be prepared to back a directive that made it clear that "computer-implemented inventions" would be patentable, but that computer programs would not be.
Without the backing of the Polish government, it is likely that the directive no longer has enough support to be sent back from the Council to the EU Parliament. Crucially, the EU has just revised the number of votes that each member state can wield, and this move has given Poland enough influence to tip the balance.

(Thanks to James Goedken for the article)

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