Tuesday, June 28, 2005

DELEGATES SPEAK OUT IN FAVOR OF COMPUTER PATENTS IN BRUSSELS: After the European Parliament debated the introduction of an EU wide patent regime, over 250 delegates attended European Innovation Day in Brussels. Attendees includes businesses, large and small, trade associations, MEPs and a number of inventors from around the EU. Several companies also exhibited products in the technology demonstration rooms, offering first hand examples of European innovation.

During the course of the meetings, numerous people came out in support of expanding the EU's patent regime to include computer-implemented invention. Some notable comments:

Chinese and others would "dine off European initiative and innovation if
patents were removed or restricted by the EU amendments, but eventually the EU
might be reduced to scraping by on the equivalent of Chinese takeaways."

Traditional industries such as mining and metal casting are also benefiting
from computerised processes protected by patents. He described the proposed
amendments to the CII draft directive as "turning back the clock of the digital
age" to the 1970s. For a number of years, the Polish patent office has been
issuing patents in line with the proposed CII directive. Simplifying the EU
patenting process is an obvious step to complete the Single Market in
Intellectual Property.

On the one hand, too many patent restrictions could result in powerful
monopolies being created, thus restricting innovation. On the other hand, a lack
of patent restrictions would lead to risks of innovative companies losing their
investments. The EU's Common Position will please nobody entirely.

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