State Secretary of Industry Opposes Software Patents in Europe

On Friday, March 23rd 2001, State Secretary of Industry Christian Pierret stated that he is against software patents in Europe.

He believes that multinational software publishers would multiply legal disputes against start-ups and promote juridical terrorism. EuroLinux, an open coalition of commercial companies and non-profit associations, welcomes this brave position. The organization has been advocating for a free information infrastructure based on open standards, open competition, Linux, and open source software. They have launched an electronic petition to protect software innovation in Europe, which has received massive support from more than 70,000 European citizens, 2000 corporate managers, and 200 companies. The EuroLinux Alliance has co-organized conferences on Linux and free software and is at the initiative of the web site to promote and protect innovation and competition in the European IT industry. Key software patent lobbyists such as the UK Patent Office and John Mogg, head of the General Directorate for Internal Market at the European Commission, are pushing for the legalisation of so-called 'patents on software with technical effect'. However, experts argue that this approach is contradictory to ban software patents and to legalise patents on software with technical effect. The EuroLinux petition counts 200 commercial companies in its supporters, as well as more than 70,000 individual signatures.