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Arlene McCarthy letter analyzed on patents list

In case you’re trying to reconcile Arlene McCarthy’s public words, about how the proposed EU legislation helps block software and bizmeth patents, and the FFII’s public words saying the opposite, here’s a helpful email thread cross-posted between the Patents list at and the free-sklyarov-uk list.

Also, Hartmut Pilch notes a prior letter which as yet remains unanswered; ‘All she has until now ever done is to send out standard answers to unspecific letters from concerned (and possibly naive-sounding) software developpers. Whenever someone tries to ask her more specific questions, there is no response at all. However documenting the fact that there is no response may also help. So please remember the public letter and point demand a response at every opportunity.’

The Financial Times has an article (paying subscribers only, but that link excerpts a part) which makes clear the difficulties. ‘oftware protection regulations across EU member states should be harmonized while also allowing software developers to carry on without the threat of patent searches and litigation hanging over their heads. He argues that the EU directive’s wording is opaque: The proposal lists computer implemented inventions as patentable, but this definition fails to establish whether it refers to software algorithms or inventions whose usability is dependent on software. Cane also notes that it is harder to see parallels in software invention and physical invention, and argues that there are few truly novel software inventions because most software is based upon prior work carried out by other people.’ (thanks to Gary Robinson for the link)