Despite heavy opposition from a coalition of European SMEs and the Greens/EFA faction of the European Parliament, and despite 2 committees suggesting large amendments, Arlene McCarthy’s pushed the patent ‘reform’ through the JURI committee of the European Parliament. It is now going to be debated in an EP plenary in 10 days time. It seems likely there’ll be a vote on adopting it then, too. We’re being railroaded here. :(
If you are a European and bothered by software patents, now is the time to write to (or even email) MEPs asking them to oppose this directive; it’s the ‘proposed software patentability directive as amended by JURI’ (COM(2002)92 2002/0047).
I’ve already received one reply, from Nuala Ahern, a Green MEP for Leinster, who’s happy to take the Greens/EFA line (and responded very quickly, all credit to her!). But the question is, who else among the Irish MEPs is likely to vote on this issue — and how do we effectively lobby in such a short time?
Some background links:
- The list of Irish MEPs
- Why software patents are bad for software developers
- The results of the UK Patent Office’s consultation on software patents
- Examples of bad software patents already issued in the US
- Examples of bad software patents already issued in the EU (somehow)
- Details of the proposed directive amendment
Anyway, if it passes it’s not the end of the world, according to Karl Lenz; I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions though ;)