"Jürgen Siepman, attorney and legal adviser of
Linux-Verband, a German association that represents numerous Linux
companies, is accusing the European Patent Office of inventing its
own rules in order to grant more software-related patents. Siepman
points out that more than 75 percent of the approved patents were
filed by non-European companies."
"European patent law is now defined by Article 52 of the
Munich Convention, which specifically forbids patents on computer
software. But patents can be granted for software that is an
integral part of a new machine, if the software -- such as an
operating system -- controls the functions of that machine."
"To a patent lawyer, that's a mighty big loophole. So
the European Patent Office has recently granted more than 10,000
patents on a "method or device which includes programs." Pilch
Hartmut of the EuroLinux Alliance argues that many of those patents
were granted for what are actually generic computers, in order to
actually patent the software contained on those machines. The
European Commission is also considering revising the law to allow
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