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European patents and software October 4, 2006

Posted by mais in Patent, software.

European patents and software

Things are getting curioser and curioser in the long drawn out debate on whether computer software is patentable or not. The Commission had proposed back in 2000 that computer software patents could be invalidated. Then in 2002 the Commission proposed that software should be patentable (see proposal COM (2002) 92 final Also here). The the European Parliament rejected that proposal (see generally, legislative history).

Now, the Commission in response to a parliamentary question (P-1625/06 by Adam Gierek) seems to indicate that

…the draft Community patent Regulation confirms in its Article 28.1(a) that patents granted for a subject matter (such as computer programs), which is excluded from patentability pursuant to Article 52 EPC, may be invalidated in a relevant court proceeding.

So it seems like the Commission is reverting to its position in 2000 and abandon the position it took when the EP rejected the software patent proposal.



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