EU Software Patents and Microsoft sneakiness

Posted by salparadise on May 14, 2004 4:25 AM EDT
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Europe plans direct patentability of computer programs, data structures and process descriptions.

The Irish EU presidency (partly sponsored by Microsoft, ) has removed the ammendments from the soon to be passed EU software patents law.

"The EU Council of Ministers is demonstrating that the concept of democracy is alien to the EU. This Wednesday, the Irish Presidency managed to secure a qualified majority for a counter-proposal to the software patents directive, with only a few countries - including Belgium and Germany - showing resistance. The new text proposes to discard all the amendments from the European which would limit patentability. Instead the lax language of the original Commission proposal is to be reinstated in its entirety, with direct patentability of computer programs, data structures and process descriptions added as icing on the cake. The proposal is now scheduled to be confirmed without discussion at a meeting of ministers on 17-18 May, unless one of the Member States changes its vote. In a remarkable sign of unity in times of imminent elections, members of the European Parliament from all groups across the political spectrum are condemning this blatant disrespect for democracy in Europe."

Ireland currently has a 0% tax rate on Patent Revenues and is also Europe's biggest software exporter (little wonder Microsoft is involved.)

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