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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html newsdate="2011-02-09">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>European Patent: FSFE urges European Parliament to wait for legal advice</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>European Patent: FSFE urges European Parliament to wait for legal advice</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">
  9. Free Software Foundation Europe is asking the Members of the European
  10. Parliament to wait for legal advice before voting on a unitary patent
  11. for Europe. While a proposal is on the Parliament's agenda for the
  12. coming week, a legal opinion by the European Court of Justice is
  13. expected later this month.
  14. </p>
  15. <p>
  16. "Software patents hurt innovation and are an unnecessary burden on
  17. European software developers," says Karsten Gerloff, President of the
  18. Free Software Foundation Europe. "Legislators need to take charge and
  19. make sure the patent system contributes to the public good. As the
  20. European Patent Organisation has acknowledged, this is a decision that
  21. cannot be left to bureaucrats and the judiciary."
  22. </p>
  23. <p>
  24. FSFE is concerned that the European Parliament will lose legislative
  25. competence regarding patents, which will then be controlled by the
  26. European Patent Organisation. This clearly creates a conflict of
  27. interest, as the EPO will be responsible both for awarding patents and
  28. for defining what is patentable. The EPO's expansionist record in this
  29. regard gives cause to worry that this will lead to software patents
  30. being validated.
  31. </p>
  32. <p>
  33. The European Court of Justice is expected to publish its opinion about
  34. the proposed "enhanced cooperation" of EU member states towards creating a
  35. single patent system for Europe. Documents published so far indicate
  36. that the Court will find the proposal in conflict with the EU
  37. treaties. Resolving these will require fundamental changes to the
  38. proposal. The Parliament's vote should take place after these changes
  39. so that the Parliament can review the actual proposal.
  40. </p>
  41. <p>
  42. FSFE hopes that the vote will be delayed until the Parliament can read
  43. the Court of Justice's opinion and has had time to analyse this
  44. proposal.
  45. </p>
  46. <h2>Contacts</h2>
  47. <p>
  48. Free Software Foundation Europe<br/>
  49. E-Mail: press at fsfeurope.org<br/><br/>
  50. Karsten Gerloff, President<br/>
  51. +49-176-96904298<br/>
  52. <a href="http://fsfe.org/contact/">More contact information</a>
  53. </p>
  54. <h2>About the Free Software Foundation Europe</h2>
  55. <p>
  56. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit non-
  57. governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  58. involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  59. participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  60. the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  61. Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  62. furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  63. modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  64. securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
  65. Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issue
  66. of the FSFE.
  67. </p>
  68. </body>
  69. <tags>
  70. <tag>front-page</tag>
  71. <tag>Policy</tag>
  72. <tag content="European Parliament">EuropeanParliament</tag>
  73. <tag content="Software Patents">Swpat</tag>
  74. </tags>
  75. </html>
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