"The Diplomatic Conference to revise the European Patent
Convention has started today in Munich. A key issue during this
conference relates to the extension of the patent system to
software in Europe. For obvious reasons related to its financial
structure, the European Patent Office favours an extension of the
patent system to software. However 55,000 citizens, including
2000 corporate executives, have signed so far the EuroLinux
Petition to protect software innovation in Europe. 200 European
companies are sponsoring the EuroLinux petition and more than 100
companies have publicly voiced out their opinion. There is a
consensus among economists and computer programmers that an
extension of the patent system to software would seriously harm
innovation and competition in the European software industry
"The EuroLinux petition was taken into account by the European
Parliament which hosted on October 11th in Brussels a conference on
Software patents and e-commerce in Europe (http://petition.eurolinux.org/europarl).
The EuroLinux petition was taken into account by the European
Commission on October 19th which is now researching the economic
impact of software patents and organising a consultation (http://petition.eurolinux.org/pr5.html).
Awareness on the dangers of software patents has raised to high
levels within European politicians and civil servants circles. It
is now admitted that software patents, as they exist in the United
States, tend to harm innovation, create tremendous legal risks for
small and medium enterprises and reduce the incentive for knowledge
"However, the European Patent Office (EPO) council of
administration still plans to legalise software patents this week
in Munich, during the ongoing revision conference of the Munich
Convention This revision process is completely independent from the
European Union. This revision process is mostly managed by official
representatives of national patent offices at the EPO, who tend to
vote, for obvious reasons, in favour of any extension of the patent
system unless they receive strict instructions not to do so."
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.