Pro-SwPat MEP Manders now fears coming vote and seeks rejection
Brussels, 2 July 2005 -- Toine Manders, Dutch Liberal MEP, JURI shadow rapporteur for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and staunchly in favor of software patents, is now apparently fearing the directive might be, in his eyes, detrimentally amended. What follows is a translation from an article from his personal homepage.
Liberals want to reject software directive
At the initiative of spokesperson Toine Manders (VVD) the liberal group of the European Parliament (ALDE) submitted an amendment to reject the controversial directive concerning the patentability of computer implemented inventions next week.
Manders is of the opinion that the European Commission should first come with a proposal for a single Community Patent. "This directive concerning software patents can, if necessary, be brought under the umbrella of the Community Patent. This offers more judicial certainty, the democratic control of the Parliament on the European Patent Office would also be guaranteed by it".
By an extremely aggressive lobby many MEPs have begun to doubt and a lot of new amendments have been submitted. "A chaos is threatening next week in Strasbourg. Because of the large number of amendments, the directive could shoot in all kinds of directions like a firecracker and we want to prevent this. Rather no legislation than bad legislation", according to Manders.
Hartmut Pilch: There is a large number of amendments, but most of these are mere repetitions of a set of 21 amendments which has been independently submitted by !MEPs from all party groups. These 21 amendments are the only ones that stand a chance of being adopted by the required number of 367 !MEPs, precisely because they do not "shoot in all kinds of directions" but only in one, namely that of the first reading. Manders also forgets to mention that the Council and the Commission will have the opportunity to work on the result of the vote. FFII has always supported initiatives to reject the directive entirely, because we understand that the Parliament is overburdened with bad legislative proposals and should exercise quality control by saying No at an early stage. Manders is however proposing the rejection at the wrong stage, for the wrong reasons.