EC tries again on Europe-wide software patents

The European Commission is once again attempting to introduce a Europe-wide software patenting system.

Its plans lay in tatters in 2005 when the European Parliament rejected the proposal, with fears that big business would squeeze smaller developers in the technology development market.

The open source community was also against the proposals, on the broad grounds that such a patenting system would act against collaborative development, and encourage regular US-style patent litigation in the European market.

After the European Parliament vote, the existing system of national patents prevailed, but it was expected that the Commission would try once more for a European patenting system.

Charlie McReevy, the internal market and services commissioner said that “Europes current Patent system is considerably more expensive than the US and the Japanese systems. He claimed that the Community patent would be far more attractive than the present system which is a bundle of national patents”.

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