2004-06-16 NL Reinier Bakels memorandum to the Dutch Ministry of Economics
The following is a summary of a presentation delivered by Reinier Bakels to the people in charge of patent policy at the dutch ministry of ecnomics in connection with the Parliament's recent questioning of the ministry's behaviour on the software patent directive.
- In the version of the Council, there is no definition of "technical", which completely undermines all limitations.
- The problems with trivial patents lie outside the scope of this directive. The juridical condition that inventions only must "not be obvious to a person skilled in the art" remains applicable.
- Business methods which are not implemented in computers also lie outside the scope of this directive. Americans strive towards no longer patenting "abstract business methods", but only "computer-implemented business methods". The directive proposal will obtain exactly the reverse: it rewards vague formulations of patent applications.
- The concept of a "(technical) contribution" is in contradiction with the system of patent law en thus will lead to a lot of confusion.
"Patent law is the instrument of innovation policy."
- "Intellectual Property is to the information society what the conventional property right was to the industrial society."
- The patent-incrowd calls the shots (because of lack of opposition)
- The academic world has also been critical for a very long time in The Netherlands (Verkade, Spoor, Hugenholtz, Grosheide and other professors).
- Wrong incentives: patent granting is profitable for the granting organisation (government/EPO), which is unique among licensing bodies.
- Directive is tip of the iceberg.
- Patent law is ripe for serious, systematic political attention.
- It has everything to do with the "knowledge economy".
- A chance for the Dutch Presidency?