European Software Patent Horror Gallery
November 20, 2000
The Diplomatic Conference to revise the European Patent Convention has started in Munich, Germany with a focus on extending the patent system to software. The EuroLinux Petition, which has received support from over 55,000 citizens and 200 companies, aims to protect software innovation in Europe. The petition was taken into account by the European Parliament and Commission, and awareness of the dangers of software patents has risen among politicians and civil servants. However, the European Patent Office (EPO) council of administration still plans to legalize software patents this week, despite opposition from a majority of European governments. The voting procedure requires a 2/3 majority to postpone the decision, and a coalition of small countries and non-EU countries may be sufficient to force the rest of Europe to legalize software patents. This press release highlights the ongoing debate and controversy surrounding software patents in Europe.