|EuroLinux||News||EC Software Patentability Directive will replace clear limitations with empty words||Community Patent||EPO Coup||2nd Brussels meeting||consultation?|
See also the press release collection of the Eurolinux Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe
|2002 March 15th||IBM Linux guru speaks out about patent dangers|
In an interview from 2002/02, a leading developper working for IBM explained some aspects of IBM's patent policy and its conflict with the policy of supporting GNU/Linux.
|2002 March 1st||France 2002-03-01: EU Commission Directive Proposal Unacceptable|
The french government has crticised the CEC/BSA Software Patentability Directive Proposal at the European Internal Market Council's meeting of 2002-02-28, in which commissioner Bolkestein explained this proposal to the patent policy representatives of the European Union's member states. France expressed dismay about the proposal's apparent failure to outline a clear limit on patentability, to critically assess the economic effects of the EPO's recent practise, to take serious research into account and to provide a valid rationale in view of european public policy targets such as those laid down in the e.Europe plan. Industry minister Christian Pierret immediately published this position in a press release.
see France 2002-03-01: EU Commission Directive Proposal Unacceptable
|2002 February 20th||CEC adopts BSA directive proposal|
The European Commission (CEC) proposes to legalise the granting of patents on computer programs as such in Europe and ensure that there is no longer any legal foundation for refusing american-style software and business method patents in Europe. "But wait a minute, the CEC doesn't say that in its press release!" you may think. Quite right! To find out what they are really saying, you need to read the proposal itself. But be careful, it is written in an esoteric Newspeak from the European Patent Office (EPO), in which normal words often mean quite the opposite of what you would expect. Also you may get stuck in a long and confusing advocacy preface, which mixes EPO slang with belief statements about the importance of patents and proprietary software, implicitely suggesting some kind of connection between the two. This text disregards the opinions of virtually all respected software developpers and economists, citing as its only source of information about the software reality two unpublished studies from BSA & friends (alliance for copyright enforcement dominated by Microsoft and other large US companies) about the importance of proprietary software. These studies do not even deal with patents! The advocacy text and the proposal itself were apparently drafted on behalf of the CEC by an employee of BSA. Below we cite the complete proposal, adding proofs for BSA's role as well as an analysis of the content, based on a tabular comparison of the BSA and CEC versions with a debugged version based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) and related doctrines as found in the EPO examination guidelines of 1978 and the caselaw of the time. This EPC version help you to appreciate the clarity and wisdom of the patentability rules in the currently valid law, which the CEC's patent lawyer friends have worked hard to deform during the last few years.
see CEC & BSA 2002-02-20: proposal to make all useful ideas patentable
|2001 February 17th||European Commission will propose to replace clear limits on patentability with empty words|
The Eurolinux Alliance of software companies and non-profit associations has been informed by reliable sources that the European Commission (EC) will publish within a few days a draft proposal for a European Community Directive on the limits of patentability with regard to computer programs. Most programmers want not patents but only copyright to apply to software. Evidence from economic studies suggests that software patents stifle innovation and reduce productivity. The EC will pay verbal tribute to this reality in its press release. However, in its directive draft, the EC will propose to legalise US-style software patents in Europe and to remove all effective limits on patentability. With some reading skills in european patent lingo, you will easily notice this discrepancy. If you can afford 20 minutes, we will teach you the basics and introduce you to a debate, which is likely to stir unusual political passions at least for the next 1-2 years, as the directive draft attempts to pass through the European Parliament and the European Council.
see European Commission will propose to replace clear limits on patentability with empty words
|2001 December 6th||Eurolinux Position on the Community Patent|
European patent politicians tend to portray the Community Patent project as a key to progress and prosperity in Europe. The innovativity of our economy, according to this view, seems to be a largely function of cheap availability and uniform enforcability of patents throughout the European Interior Market. The Eurolinux Alliance believes that the Community Patent according to current plans would stifle innovation and harm European citizens. Instead it must not be built as an extension to the current system maintained by the European Patent Office, but as a new lean, decentral, unbureaucratic foundation in the spirit of the Polluter Pays Principle. The Eurolinux position statement comes with an online signature guestbook.
see Eurolinux Position on the Community Patent
|2001 October 8th||Juridical Coup at the European Patent Office|
The president of the European Patent Office has, in preemption of political decisions to be taken by European governments, decreed a regulation that authorises patent claims to computer programs. The Eurolinux Alliance calls for the replacement of the board of the European Patent Office by the european governments and the establishment of democratic control over the european patent system.
see Juridical Coup at the European Patent Office
|2000 July 19th||20000 citiziens and 300 companies sign the petition for a software patent free Europe|
20,000 citizens and 300 corporate executives have signed the EuroLinux Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe after one month. Even in multinational companies, whose patent department had been lobbying for an extension of the patent system to software, large numbers of employees support viewpoint, that these attempts are damaging to innovation and competition and represent an abuse of law.
see Massive Support for the EuroLinux Petition
|2000 June 13rd||Eurolinux Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe|
The Eurolinux Alliance of European software companies and OpenSource associations has launched a campaign to warn European legislators against the dangers of software patents. This campaign is a response of IT associations and software companies to recent hardline proprietarist speeches from the European Commission's Directorate for the Internal Market, which indicated that the Directorate will issue a directive to extend the patent system to software and intellectual methods, completely ignoring the concerns raised by leading software companies and developpers, and refusing even to study the economic effects of software patenting. Previous campaigns to this subject had quickly assembled approximately 10000 signatures from software developpers. The current campaign will go further. Based on clear demands and thourough documentation, the Eurolinux Alliance will submit its petition to the European parlament and use advanced (not yet patentable) e-techniques to let volunteers participate in lobbying the key decisionmakers.
see No E-Patents
|1999 October 20th||EuroLinux delegation meets EU legislators|
A delegation of 8 representatives from the sponsors of EuroLinux and its member organisations met the patent legislators of the EU Commission's DG XV in Bruxelles to explain why current EU plans on software patentability are dangerous, and to propose a solution that could be acceptable to all parties.
The delegation was headed by J.P. Smets (French Speaking Association of Users of Linux and Free Software). Travel expenses were paid by the sponsors of the FFII software patent working group, most of whom also sent representatives with letters from their CEOs, in order to express their deep concern about the expected results of the EU plans.
|1999 June 19th||First Europe Japan Conference on Linux And Free Software|
The Japan Linux Association (JLA), Tokyo Linux User Group (TLUG), French Speaking Association of Users of Linux and Free Software (AFUL), Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) and French Embassy in Japan are organising in Tokyo next week on 24/6 and 25/6 the Europe Japan Conference on Linux And Free Software. There will be numerous presentations of famous GNU/Linux distributions as well as software such as Roxen, Horb, KDE, Namazu, MySQL, Adabas, VShop, Lectra etc. French Officials are going to introduce the use of Linux and Free Software in the French Administration.
During the conference, it is very likely that worlwide annoucements of new open source software and free software will happen in the field of ecommerce and corporate application development.
|1999 June 18th||10 European Industry Leaders Raise Concerns about Software Patents|
10 European Industry Leaders have raised concerns about the ongoing legal process to update the European Patent Law in order to extend the range of application of software patents. According to pioneers of the software industry, the use of patents to protect software may actually lead to less innovation, less competition and eventually job cuts in the European Software Industry instead of generating new businesses and stimulating innovation as it is often believed. In order to promote innovation, competition and new businesses in the IT industry, Europe should be very careful with the application of software patents.
see 11 Industry Leaders Speak Out Against Software Patents
|1999 June 17th||Opening of the EuroLinux Alliance Web Site|
The EuroLinux Alliance is an ongoing initiative to create a European lobbying group which main task will be to protect and promote commercial and moral interests of independent sofware developers in Europe with commercial or non-profit activity related to Linux, Free Software or Open Standards.
see About Eurolinux