Spanish senate votes unanimously against software patents

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8th February 2005 -- Today the Spanish Senate has unanimously approved a motion which was initiated by Jordi Guillot, senator and president of the Commission of the Society of the Information and Conocimiento of the Senate, which asks the Government to remain firm in his refusal to the patents of software and it should work with other member states to obtain an majority against the 18 May text.

Source: Barrapunto (spanish)

Senator of the People's Party, Mercedes Coloma, said that the 18th of May text is "against innovation and competitiveness". Press Release

Here's a rough translation of the more interesting parts of a press release text from proinnova:

The Spanish Senate has approved unanimously a motion that insists to the Government to reject the introduction of patents of software in Europe.

The initiative was taken by the senator of ICV Jordi Guillot, president of the Commission of the Society of the Information and the Knowledge of the Senate, that made in last December an interpellation insisting to the Government to reject the director proposal on patents of software promoted by the European Commission.

The Senate demands that the Government who works so that the future director expresses of clear and unequivocal form the nonpatentabilidad of software, and urges to him to that he engages in a dialog with all the countries of the Union to obtain a new opposite majority to the proposal in discussion in the Council of Competitiveness.

Senator Guillot justified his proposal assuring that the software patents harm and distort the Society of the Information, and commented at this moment on their opportunity, when several European national parliaments have rejected the director proposal, and the European Parliament has requested its retirement.

Other senators like Mercedes Coloma (PP), Felix Lavilla (PSOE), Aleixandre Rose (CiU) and Xavier Albistur (PNV) also showed in their interventions before the plenary session their clear rejection the proposal of director of the Commission.

The director on software patents began her walking at the beginning of 2002, when the European Commission proposed it with a writing that would suppose the inclusion of the programs of software (which at the moment they have legal protection under the legislation of author rights) within the scope of the patentable thing.

So far the Commission has declined to comment if it is going to retire his proposal or no.

Also, they ask the Government who takes advantage of the political support that has received so that it demands in the Council the retirement of the present proposal, and that in its place transacts a director who defines the European Union clearly like a free territory of software patents, which without a doubt would very positively affect our competitiveness and capacity of innovation in the scope of the technologies of the information.


It seems to ask both for restart (explicitly) and for B-item (implicitly, since I see no other possibility to achieve a majority contrary to the 18th May text, in 2nd reading it would be a majority pro or against some EP text, nothing to do with 18th May text, but maybe I'm interpreting it too literally? ). It migh be seen as a request to try both ways and see which one succeeds.

Translation of the motion:

The motion passed with an amendment, this is the text that finally got unanimity: (Original in the Spanish version of this page)

The senate calls on the government to defend, in the appropiate instances in the EU:

1- to restart the procedure for the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on the patentability of computer implemented inventions.

2.- That the approved directive expresses clearly an unmistakably that a computer program as such is not subject to the scope of patent law. Reaffirming the government position contrary to the directive proposal expressed in the Competitivity Council of the EU on May 18th 2004.

3.- to dialogue with UE state governments to achieve a new majority contrary to the Council proposal of May 18th.

4.- to communicate this motion to the MEPs elected for Spain.

Palace of the Senate, 2 of December of 2004. --El Attached Spokesman, Jordi Guillot Miravet.

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