European Parliament and Software Patents
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News & Chronology
Committees and Parties
The following committees have been involved
- JURI, very lawyerish, pro-patent and pro big business
- ITRE, interested in entrepreneurial freedom, freedom of publication
- CULT, pro-copyright, against use of patents in logical and cultural works
The party groups showed trends as follows
- EPP-DE, conservative, most delegations follow extreme pro-patent positions of German shadow-rapporteur Joachim Wuermeling and UK big business relay Malcolm Harbour. Austrian OeVP, led by, Otmar Karas and Paul Ruebig, under influence chamber of commerce and SME-Union, against software patents. Finnish MEP Piia-Noora Kauppi leads group of software patent sceptics within EPP-DE, has some followers in most countries. This includes some whole national delegations (NL, AT, FI, IE). FR, DE, UK (countries of Fourtou, Wuermeling and Harbour respectively) have 3--4 individual dissidants each (out of large groups).
- UEN, conservative-nationalist, including Fianna Fail of Ireland, Alleanza Nazionale of Italy and what's left of the old-style French Gaullists. Strongly against software patents, split on IPR enforcement directive (Italians anti, rest pro)
- EDD, eurosceptic, one center in Danish June Movement, strongly against software patents and IPR enforcement directive, makes efforts to arrive at clear understanding.
- PSE, socialists, UK block is soldier of big business, most other national blocks are receptive to arguments from SMEs and civil society, many national groups voted wholly or in half against software patents, French socialist group has particular merits in achieving these results. French and Italian groups also voted against IPR Enforcement directive.
- Greens/EFA, strongly against software patents and against IPR Enforcement Directive
- GUE/LEFT, same as Greens
ELDR, liberal, split on swpat. Dutch VVD (Manders), Danish Venstre, UK LibDems (against party policy) for. Others mostly against. Most ELDR MEPs nonetheless supported IPRED. Dutch D66 and Swedes are our most reliable allies.