Report on the 5th Conference on European Policy for Intellectual Property
10 March 2005 - The 5th EPIP conference, held in Copenhagen, included several topics of interest to the people following the debate around the European software patents directive. The FFII was also invited to present its innovative Gauss patent database project.
About the conference
The conference works on addressing the challenges of exclusion rights (intellectual property) in the information age. Balancing the interests in diffusion of knowledge with business requirements and desires is not an easy task. Coupled with the fast-changing nature of the information economy and the interdisciplinary requirements to assess all effects and the effectiveness of proposed solutions, this provides for many interesting presentations and discussions.
You can find more background information on their website.
This year, the FFII was invited to the conference as a keynote speaker. Our contribution consisted of presenting the Gauss patent database project. The two presentations were
Gauss and EP political realities by Erik Josefsson. This presentation demonstrates the usage of Gauss to compare the political claims of certain software patent proponents with their patent claims, and the discrepancies following from this confrontation.
A searchable, commentable version of CRM114 applied to patents by Roland Orre. This presentation focusses on the implementation of the Gauss database, how it works.
Other interesting papers
Business Method Patents in Europe and their Strategic Use Evidence from Franking Device Manufacturers (summary presentation) by Stefan Wagner. The author has taken all US granted patents from their "business methods" class, and checked which ones had European equivalents. In March 2004, of the 8550 US business method patents, 1901 had European equivalent applications, of which 689 had already been granted. He concludes, among other things, that business methods are currently patentable at the EPO, and that business method patents have been used strategically in the industry for franking devices.
Software patents: a closer look at the European Commission's proposal by Maria Alessandra Rossi. A paper which analyses the original Commission proposal to the bare bones, along with an overview of the economical background. The link goes to an FFII summary of the paper (with a link to the full paper available, of course).