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[Fsfe-france] La Pologne contre les brevets logiciels

From: Frederic Couchet
Subject: [Fsfe-france] La Pologne contre les brevets logiciels
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 20:36:01 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.090024 (Oort Gnus v0.24) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Une très bonne nouvelle en provenance de Pologne.


FFII, Internet Society Poland and NoSoftwarePatents.com

Joint Press Release

Poland Does Not Support Current Proposal

for EU Software Patent Directive

Official statement on government website after cabinet meeting:
"Poland cannot support the text which was agreed upon by the EU
Council" - Political agreement of May 18th on a proposed directive can
no longer be formally adopted as the common position of the EU Council

Warsaw, 17 November 2004. Subsequently to a cabinet meeting, the
Polish government officially declared yesterday evening that "Poland
cannot support the text that was agreed upon by the EU Council on May
18th, 2004" as a proposal for a "directive on the patentability of
computer-implemented inventions". Consequently, the EU Council is
unable to formally adopt that legislative proposal as its common
position. Without the support of Poland, those countries that
supported the proposal in May now fall short of a qualified majority
by 16 votes. New voting weights took effect in the EU on the 1st of
this month.

After extensive consultations with organizations of IT professionals
and the Polish Patent Office, the Polish cabinet concluded that the
proposal at hand does not achieve the stated goals of limiting patents
on software and business methods in Europe. The Polish government
explained that it would "definitely" support "unambiguous regulations"
but not a directive under which the functionality of computer programs
could be patented. The EU Commission and various governments of other
EU member countries claimed that the legislative proposal would not
allow for the patentability of programs that run on an average
personal computer. However, at a meeting hosted by the Polish
government on the 5th of this month, everyone including
representatives of the Polish Patent Office, SUN, Novell,
Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, as well as various patent lawyers,
confirmed that the present proposal of the EU Council does make all
software potentially patentable.

Last week, the permanent representative of the Netherlands to the
European Union had declared that the Council, which is currently under
a Dutch presidency, would aim to refer its common position on the
software patent directive to the European Parliament in mid
December. The EU Council will now have to renegotiate the legislative
proposal instead of being able to formally ratify the invalidated
political agreement of May 18th. The formal ratification had been
delayed, officially due to a shortage of translation resources.

Jan Macek of FFII Poland said: "Countries such as Luxembourg, Latvia,
Denmark and Italy had called for changes similar to the amendments
made by the European Parliament, but those were rejected by the
then-Irish presidency.  They now have a chance to propose their
amendments again, with support from Poland. That will help bring the
directive more in line with the European Parliament which took the
position of clearly disallowing software and business method patents."

Wladyslaw Majewski, president of the Internet Society of Poland,
emphasized the economic and societal implications of software patents:
"The questionnable compromise that the EU Council reached in May was
the biggest threat ever to our economic growth, and to our freedom of
communication.  The desire of the patent system and the patent
departments of certain large corporations must never prevail over the
interests of the economy and society at large."

The political agreement of the EU Council had been under heavy
criticism ever since it was announced on May 18th. Politicians from
all parts of the democratic spectrum, small and medium-sized
enterprises, software developers and economists called on the EU
Council to reconsider its position.  Deutsche Bank Research and
PriceWaterhouseCoopers had expressly warned of the negative
consequences to European IT companies, to innovation, and to the
ability of the EU to achieve the goals set out in its Lisbon
Agenda. On July 1st, the Dutch parliament passed a resolution that its
government change the position of the Netherlands from support to an
abstention. On October 21st, all four groups in the German parliament
spoke out against software patents and the legislative proposal in
question, and introduced different motions to that effect.


The aforementioned statement by the Polish government is available on a
government website: http://www.kprm.gov.pl/441_12649.htm

An overview of the old and the new set of voting weights in the EU
Council was published earlier by the NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign:
<http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=97> (press
release) http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/docs/041101qm.pdf
<http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/docs/041101qm.pdf> (overview and

About the Foundation for a Free Information Infastructure (FFII)

The FFII is the leading non-governmental organization that opposes the
patentability of software. It has been mandated by tens of thousands
of individuals, among them an estimated 3,000 CEOs of companies, to
represent their interests in the political process on an EU software
patent directive.  For more information, please check out
http://en.eu.ffii.org/ <http://en.eu.ffii.org/> The website of the
Polish representation of FFII: http://www.ffii.org.pl/

About Internet Society (ISOC) Poland

For information on ISOC Poland, please check out this Web page:
http://www.isoc.org.pl/ <http://www.isoc.org.pl/>  About

For information on the NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign, which is
independent from FFII, please check out this Web page:

Take action against software patents   http://swpat.ffii.org
Sauvez le droit d'auteur               http://eucd.info
APRIL                                  http://www.april.org
Frederic Couchet                       +33 (0) 6 60 68 89 31 

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