October 5, 2010

Belgian EU Presidency wrong about software patents, pushing for their validation

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Brussels, 5 October 2010 — In a radio interview held last Thursday, Mr Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgian Minister of the Economy, tried to explain that the current situation concerning software patents in Europe was fine, and that the current plans are not intended to “change the patent system to make software programming more difficult”. The FFII says this is wrong, considering the thousands of software patents already granted by the European Patent Office (EPO). The Belgian Presidency is pushing for a central EU patent court, that will create caselaw in favour of software patents.

Benjamin Henrion, President of the FFII, says: “Mr Van Quickenborne is throwing dust in the eyes of software developers. The reality is that the Belgian Presidency is pushing hard for a central patent court, that will validate software patents. Large companies that were supporting the Software Patent Directive 5 years ago are now all in favour of a central patent court.”

The Belgian Presidency is currently awaiting the decision of the European Court of Justice over the draft treaty creating an international patent court, a court which would sit outside of any parliament, and which would not be backed by any constitution.

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About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association registered in twenty European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.