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Wired: Europe Starts Debate on Patents

Nov 21, 2000, 19:39 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michelle Delio)

"A key issue at the conference, which opened Monday, will be whether software developers should be allowed to patent their applications. Current European law does not allow software to be patented, but the European Patent Office (EPO) is heavily in favor of an extension of the patent system that would extend its coverage to software."

"Complicating the issue, some opponents of software patents charge that the voting process instituted by the European patent office is badly flawed and may result in a ruling for patents that would go against the wishes of the majority of European countries."

"Open-source organizations such as EuroLinux Alliance for a Free Information Infrastructure and The Association for the Promotion of a Free Informational Infrastructure say that software patents, as they exist in the United States, tend to stifle innovation, create tremendous legal risks for small and medium enterprises and reduce the incentive for knowledge sharing."

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