MEPs in coalition to block software patents law

Led by former Polish PM Jerzi Buzek, 61 MEPs have introduced a
motion asking the Commission to reconsider its proposal on the
controversial software patents directive.

A coalition of 61 MEPs have tabled a motion
in the European Parliament asking for the Commission to reconsider
its proposal on the software patents directive, anti-patent
campaigners indicated on 10 January.

Noting that “substantial changes” have been made to the proposal
since the June 2004 parliamentary elections, the MEPs are demanding
that the Commission review its proposal.

The coalition is made up of  61 MEPs from 13 different countries and four political groups
(EPP-ED, PSE, ALDE and UEN). Half of them, notably, are from
Poland, the country that withdrew its support to a ministers’
agreement on the directive last year (see EURACTIV, 19 Nov. 2004).

Poland’s move was followed in December by a last-minute attempt
by the Dutch Presidency to have the directive approved by the EU’s
agriculture ministers. But the matter was finally taken off the
ministers’ agenda.

There was no indication on 10 January that the motion would
stand a chance of being voted on by Parliament any time soon.
Under  article 55 of the Parliament’s rules of procedures, the
initiative would need to come from the committee in charge of the
dossier.

But the plan could end up going nowhere as it failed
to secure support from Green MEPs who have persistently
campaigned against the patentability of computer-implemented
inventions (CII).  

A spokesperson for the Greens told EURACTIV that the initiative
“will fail” as it would first need approval from the Conference of
Presidents of political parties in parliament. The group, he added,
could end up damaging the whole project of blocking the
patentability of computer-implemented inventions. “This is not
the right way to do it,” said the spokesperson.

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