Friday, April 21, 2006

EU IP consultation ( yes another one)

The EU Commission has issued yet another consultation on how to make the EU market (the internal market) work.(Thanks for the heads up Cornelia!). It covers a number of issues but it has a specific section on intellectual Property regimes. To give a flavour of the document its states that in this area its aim is:

' Ensuring that intellectual property rights ('IPR') regimes facilitate the
development and diffusion of knowledge and technology'

and

'Finally, we also consider it important to ensure that our
regulatory framework is user-friendly, so as to enhance acceptance and lawful use of
protected products."

It also asks a specific question:

7) Do you consider that the current IPR regimes foster growth and innovation? In your

experience, where is more focus or action needed?

Its important that we respond, even if it is repeating what we are saying in the numerous other EU consultations on patents and copyright. Who knows repetition may work wonders!

A copy of the consultation can be found here:
(deadline for responses June 15)

http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/strategy/docs/consultation_en.pdf

New attempt to establish EU Software patents

The EU Commission recently held a consultation on the Patent system in Europe.
http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/indprop/patent/
It covered a number of issues. One of great concern to all those activists who had successfully campaigned against the introduction of software patents, was the Commissions proposal to introduce a Community patent system ( one patent for the whole of Europe). They feared that this could be a backdoor method to introduce software patents. So the activists once again marshalled thier resources to respond to the consultation.

But the fights not over yet. I have recently been told by Florian Mueller ( one of the lead lobbyists against software patenting) that there is another backdoor method being pursued by pro software patenting companies. That is using the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA).

You can read the background on it here:

ahttp://www.no-lobbyists-as-such.com/florian-mueller-blog/epla

Cptech also submitted comments to the Commissions patent consultation.
While we oppose software patents, we sought in our response to also focus on wider principles of patent policy that apply to all areas of the economy eg the development of medicines.

A copy of our response can be found here:
http://www.cptech.org/a2k/cptechECPatconsultation-12april06.pdf