12 May 2003

The Europatent Debate

The most important political issue affecting the future of free software in Europe is moving towards a vote in the European Parliament this month. The Parliament will either accept or reject a proposal by the European Commission to alter European patent practice to conform with the US Patent and Trademark Office’s liberal granting of patents for “inventions” implemented in computer software. This threatens to bring US-style business-method and health-method patents to Europe. It also threatens open standards and the very existence of free software.

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permalink | columns/lu | 2003.05.12-00:00.00