JURI Transcripts 050421: Toine Manders MEP
(NB: the sound quality was not good. The transcription below still needs some corrections and some gaps filled in, and is probably best read in conjunction with listening to the original audio)
Toine Manders (ALDE, NL):
(1:18:38) Thank you chairman.
I would like to thank my colleague, because I think that he in a short and succinct way describes the aching points that this directive brings and I hope that the amendments that he will submit shortly will dissolve these aching points.
There are a few points I would like to make.
Personally, I find as shadow rapporteur of the ALDE group that the piece that the Council has produced is very close to the one by Arlene McCarthy which we adopted in the ??? last time ??? especially by pretty aggressive lobbyists ??? I don't understand that ??? UNICE ??? I deeply regret that the lobby is not posturing on healthy arguments but much more on threats ??? while we should have a clear piece.
I will not repeat everything others had, but one thing I want to make clear: This week I received a manifest of a large amount of small, medium and large entrepreneurs and from that at least I have learned -- and this may seem naive -- that there is a very large difference between a software programmer and an inventor. And we should be very clear in that, because I thought ??? They have made it clear to me that especially small companies ??? if we talk about computer-implemented inventions that they can protect themselves against multinationals who would otherwise steamroll over and copy their ideas and that can of course not be the idea, because the goal of the patent legislation is of course to protect inventors and to reward them, because at the moment that you don't reward an inventor you won't have an inventor in the end.
I have a few questions to mister Rocard. We talk about interoperability. I think everybody is in unison here, but I'm of the opinion that it should be possible, but under the condition that the inventor of the base product is given a reasonable compensation for his or her idea, his invention, and then I think ??? interoperability is no problem whatsoever.
I had another question about the access to ideas, access to information. In my vision, the purpose of our patent system is actually to make ideas, technical inventions public to allow others to build on those ideas, to make innovation possible. If we all hide and obscure our ideas, then I'm of the opinion that the piece slows down innovation and I think actually that we ??? reach a goal that by seeing ideas which are public that you come to new ones, and I think that it's the strong point about out patent system, I also think that's the strong point of Europe, preceding all those years, because we are especially strong about good ideas and inventions and it would be a shame to implement brain drain and times are changing and it is said that software is immaterial, not tangible, but then I ask mister Rocard ???. If I patent a new kind of ??? I CAN ask for a patent; the moment I talk about a piece of software that makes a technical connection possible (in combination because that's very important then), that we at one point would say that wouldn't be possible, because we arrive with a very difficult definition and I think working with natural forces, but even if you would bring it down to details ??? software ??? natural forces ??? put into motion and arrive at a result, a technical result.
I had another question. I would want that considering this directive, we wouldn't speak of software ???, but of computer-implemented inventions, technical inventions, or else ??? could lead to an amount of unclarity and unrest and I think we don't need that anymore. We already went through this. I think that we're technically clear.
I would like to have an explanation from mister Rocard about a text that he writes on, let's see, page 3 (ed: actually 4) I think, somewhere in the middle it says in English: "controlling a chain of patented software programs, each of which depends on the other, to prohibit access by the competition to activities downstream affecting the industry and the invention concerned" Or it's a jab to high industry that wants to set up a monopoly with a chain downstream ??? and I find it a shame ??? trying to indicate that especially small companies that like to make that invention in order not to be copied by the large companies. And subsequently a patent ??? is acquired. So I want an explanation over that if that's possible.
Let's see ??? then I see that it's further clear. I wish colleague Rocard a lot of success with setting up good arguments in these very difficult days. Thank you.