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<html newsdate="2011-02-09">
<title>European Patent: FSFE urges European Parliament to wait for legal advice</title>
<h1>European Patent: FSFE urges European Parliament to wait for legal advice</h1>
Free Software Foundation Europe is asking the Members of the European
Parliament to wait for legal advice before voting on a unitary patent
for Europe. While a proposal is on the Parliament's agenda for the
coming week, a legal opinion by the European Court of Justice is
expected later this month.
"Software patents hurt innovation and are an unnecessary burden on
European software developers," says Karsten Gerloff, President of the
Free Software Foundation Europe. "Legislators need to take charge and
make sure the patent system contributes to the public good. As the
European Patent Organisation has acknowledged, this is a decision that
cannot be left to bureaucrats and the judiciary."
FSFE is concerned that the European Parliament will lose legislative
competence regarding patents, which will then be controlled by the
European Patent Organisation. This clearly creates a conflict of
interest, as the EPO will be responsible both for awarding patents and
for defining what is patentable. The EPO's expansionist record in this
regard gives cause to worry that this will lead to software patents
being validated.
The European Court of Justice is expected to publish its opinion about
the proposed "enhanced cooperation" of EU member states towards creating a
single patent system for Europe. Documents published so far indicate
that the Court will find the proposal in conflict with the EU
treaties. Resolving these will require fundamental changes to the
proposal. The Parliament's vote should take place after these changes
so that the Parliament can review the actual proposal.
FSFE hopes that the vote will be delayed until the Parliament can read
the Court of Justice's opinion and has had time to analyse this
Free Software Foundation Europe<br/>
E-Mail: <email></email><br/><br/>
Karsten Gerloff, President<br/>
<a href="/contact/">More contact information</a>
<h2>About the Free Software Foundation Europe</h2>
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit non-
governmental organisation active in many European countries and
involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issue
of the FSFE.
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="policy"/>
<tag key="european-parliament">European Parliament</tag>
<tag key="swpat">Software Patents</tag>
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