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[d@DCC] 2000 IT bosses say NO to EU software patents, call for rejection of McCarthy software patent directive proposal
From: Russell McOrmond <russell _-at-_ flora.ca>
I have been following this forum rather closely because of the software patent report I am doing for Industry Canada, ICT branch <http://www.flora.ca/russell/drafts/software-patent2003.shtml> . It turns out that the The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) website <http://swpat.ffii.org> is the best single source for information on software patenting worldwide. Note: Canada already honors software patents, and is somewhere between the new pro-software-patent policy of the EU (a 'unification' of European patent policy across all states based on the questionably legal practices of the EPO) and the United States (which supports and works to export unlimited patentability). If you have something to say about this issue in Canada, I suggest you read and reply to my draft report. Part of the report delivered to the customer (ICT Branch of Industry Canada) is the feedback sent in. Final delivery of the report is the end of this month (end of a 3 month comment period), so please pass this note onward to anyone you feel may be interested and send in your feedback. --- Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/> Governance software that controls ICT, automates government policy, or electronically counts votes, shouldn't be bought any more than politicians should be bought. -- http://www.flora.ca/russell/ ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 09:59:47 +0200 (CEST) From: Hartmut Pilch To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: [Patents] 2000 IT bosses say NO to EU software patents, call for rejection of McCarthy software patent directive proposal _________________________________________________________________ 2000 IT bosses say NO to EU software patents, call for rejection of McCarthy software patent directive proposal Brussels, Munich, Amsterdam 2003/06/22 For immediate Release A "Petition for a Free Europe without Software Patents" has gained more than 150000 signatures. Among the supporters are more than 2000 company owners and chief executives and 25000 developpers and engineers from all sectors of the European information and telecommunication industries, as well as more than 2000 scientists and 180 lawyers. Companies like Siemens, IBM, Alcatel and Nokia lead the list of those whose researchers and developpers want to protect programming freedom and copyright property against what they see as a "patent landgrab". Currently the patent policy of some of these companies is still dominated by their patent departments, who have intensively lobbied the European Parliament to support a proposal to allow patentability of "computer-implemented inventions" (patent newspeak for "software", i.e. algorithms and business methods described in terms of generic computing equipment), which the rapporteur, UK Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy, backed by "patent experts" from the socialist and conservative blocks, is trying to rush through the European Parliament on June 30, just 13 days after she had won the vote in the Legal Affairs Committe (JURI). Introduction -> Eurolinux Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe -> FFII: Software Patents in Europe For the last few years the European Patent Office (EPO) has, contrary to the letter and spirit of the existing law, granted more than 20000 patents on computer programs, or, in patent newspeak, "computer-implemented inventions", i.e. rules of organisation and calculation framed in terms of generic computing equipment. Now Europe's patent community is pressing to codify this practise into a new law. Europe's programmers and citizens are facing considerable risks. Here you find the basic documentation, starting from a short overview and the latest news. The European Parliament parliament's plenary will decide on a draft report on the European Commission's software patentability directive proposal COM(2002)92. Hartmut Pilch explains on behalf of Eurolinux, an alliance of associations and companies from all European countries and all sectors of the European software industry: If the European Parliament accepts this report, even with amendments, it will not only find itself in complete contradiction with public opinion, as expressed in the largest online petition on IT matters which the world has seen so far. It would also be in contradiction with its own proclaimed aims. The result of passing the McCarthy Directive Proposal would be that "Amazon One Click Shopping" indisputably becomes a patentable invention, and that more than 20000 broad and trivial software and business method patents, which have been granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) against the letter and spirit of the written law, will no longer be contestable in court, except with rock-solid evidence of prior art. "Now it is up to the European Parliament to decide on a highly controversial proposal for a directive for software patents. The JURI proposal aims at improving clarity. It should have at last defined clearly what is patentable and what not. But in reality it is a bunch of magic formulas that even legal experts do not understand. In particular for small and medium sized software developers it is a disaster. A patent infringement claim can ruin such a company. It is to be hoped that the European Parliament understands this if they vote about the proposed directive in a few days." says Reinier Bakels from the Insitute for Information Law of Amsterdam University, author of a parliament-ordered study, which JURI chose to ignore completely. Dr. Karl Friedrich Lenz, professor of European Law in Tokyo, comments: If the European Parliament follows JURI in ignoring public opinion and all scientific studies, we will see large license payments from the European to the American software industry, lots of litigation based on software patents, Internet patents and business method patents, and some very unfavorable effects for open source software. And introducing a large number of new monopoly rights in the information society sector certainly won't help with the EU strategic goal "to become the most competitive and knowledge-based economy in the world." see also JURI votes for Fake Limits on Patentability Statistics of signatories By profession / position in company Since the wording in the entry "profession" is free for everyone to chose, aggregation was difficult. We can only state minimal numbers here. position number (minimum) company owner, chief executive (CEO), managing director 2000 CTO, head of IT, head of R&D 2100 programmer, software/system architect/engineer/designer/analyst 23000 scientist, researcher etc 2600 professor (mainly computer science, mathematics, physics) 400 lawyer 180 By country Germany 29773 France 27047 Spain 13120 Italy 9673 United Kingdom 9385 Denmark 5141 Netherlands 5041 Belgium 4587 Sweden 4355 Poland 3195 Austria 3262 Switzerland 3090 Finnland 2732 Czechia 1503 Norway 1497 Hungary 1386 Portugal 1128 Ireland 911 Greece 563 Luxemburg 287 By company Below you find the number of employees of some major companies and institutions who signed the petition. Note that 2/3 of the signatories did not specify their employer. comany Siemens 231 CNRS 220 IBM 156 INRIA 114 Cap Gemini Ernst & Young 108 Alcatel 99 France Telecom 97 Ericsson 94 Epita 92 Hewlett Packard (HP) 85 Helsinki University of Technology 78 Nokia 74 RWTH Aachen (Aachen Technical University) 78 SuSE 67 ETH Zurich (Zurich Technical University) 61 Deutsche Telekom AG 59 Sun Microsystems 58 University of Cambridge 56 Philips 54 University of Helsinki 53 EDS 50 Compaq 42 SAP 44 ST Microelectronics 42 Telefonica 31 Steria 30 Politecnico di Milano 29 CERN 29 Oxford University 29 Motorola 29 ABB 28 Renault 28 Lucent 27 Nortel 37 Alc˘ve 26 ATOS Origin 59 Belgacom 25 Getronics 25 Transiciel 23 Nevrax 23 Red Hat 32 Cisco Systems 21 innominate 21 Thales 21 DaimlerChrysler 20 altran 20 T-Systems 20 EADS 19 BMW 19 BULL 19 mobile.de 18 Accenture 18 Sema Group 17 Air France 16 Alplog 15 Sony 15 Telecom 15 Lufthansa 15 Schlumberger 14 Microsoft 14 Andersen Consulting 13 Oracle 13 Intel 13 Amadeus 13 Epitech 13 Vodafone 13 AT&T 12 British Telecom 12 Unisys 12 NCC 11 debis Systemhaus 21 Infineon 11 Mobilix 11 Fujitsu Siemens Computers 11 KPNQwest 10 Atrid 10 Easter-eggs 10 Bosch 10 SOT Finnish Software Engineering Ltd. 10 Media Contact mail: media at ffii org phone: Hartmut Pilch +49-89-18979927 More Contacts to be supplied upon request About the Eurolinux Alliance -- www.eurolinux.org The EuroLinux Alliance for a Free Information Infrastructure is an open coalition of commercial companies and non-profit associations united to promote and protect a vigourous European Software Culture based on copyright, open standards, open competition and open source software such as Linux. Corporate members or sponsors of EuroLinux develop or sell software under free, semi-free and non-free licenses for operating systems such as GNU/Linux, MacOS or MS Windows. About the FFII -- www.ffii.org The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit association registered in Munich, which is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports the development of public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 200 members, 180 companies and 12000 individual supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions in the area of software property law. URL of this Press Release http://swpat.ffii.org/news/03/epet0622/index.en.html Annotated Links -> -> CEC/ETLA 2002: Technology policy in the telecommunication sector -- Market responses and economic impacts This study may explain while so many employees of telecom giants and related companies support the Petition for a Free Europe without Software Patents. _________________________________________________________________ References 11. http://petition.eurolinux.org/ 12. http://swpat.ffii.org/index.en.html 13. http://swpat.ffii.org/news/03/juri0617/index.en.html 17. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/siemens/index.en.html 18. http://www.cnrs/ 19. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/ibm/index.en.html 20. http://www.inria.fr/ 21. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/alcatel/index.en.html 22. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/ericsson/index.en.html 23. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/nokia/index.en.html 24. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/sun/index.en.html 25. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/philips/index.en.html 26. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/sap/index.de.html 27. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/thales/index.en.html 28. http://swpat.ffii.org/players/microsoft/index.en.html 29. http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/cec-telecom02/index.en.html 30. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html -- For (un)subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other related sites please see http://www.digital-copyright.ca
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