European Parliament Calls on Commission to Come up with Fresh Proposal
24 February 2005 -- Today, the European Parliament unanimously supported a plenary motion, in which it "invites the Commission to review its proposal for the software patents directive in accordance with the decisions in Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on 2 February 2005 and the Conference of Presidents 17 February 2005".
The text on the software patent directive was proposed by Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek (prime minister of Poland 1997-2001). Buzek spoke shortly to explain it. It was supported by all party groups and carried without objection (i.e. by acclamation, without a roll call).
The text passage for which the !MEPs expressed support reads:
- "Invites the Commission to review its proposal for the software patents directive in accordance with the decisions in Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on 2 February 2005 and the Conference of Presidents 17 February 2005".
It forms part of a Joint Motion on the Commission's Legislative and Work Programme for 2005.
Erik Josefsson, FFII Brussels representative comments:
- "It is now clear that the EP as a whole stands behind the software patent restart process that was initiated by Mr Buzek and Mr Gierek in December, verified by the Polish minister of informatisation at the Fisheries Council before Christmas, confirmed by the Legal Affairs Committee in January, executed by the CoP in February and finally wholly supported by the EP today.
I would like to say: "Can you hear us now, Mr. McCreevy?"
Various groups in the Parliament had proposed similar motions independently:
- Calls on the Commission to consult Parliament again on the proposal for a directive on the patenting of computer-implemented inventions so that European legislation can strike a better balance between all the interests involved;
- Requests the Commission to re-draft the directive on the patentability of so-called 'computer implemented inventions' in order to establish a clear legal distinction between what is technical and can be patented and what is not; recommends that the Commission give more support to the development of free and open source software within the strategy for the European Information Society up to 2010;
- Calls on the Commission and the Council to withdraw the directive on software patents, and calls on the Commission to give priority to the development of free and open-source software and to eliminating the 'digital divide' within the strategy on the Information Society up to 2010;