Europe To Re-Open Patent Reform Questions

from the good-for-them dept

Rob writes “The European patent system is back on the IT agenda for 2006 after the European Commission launched a consultation on future patent policy, six months after the European Parliament rejected the EC’s controversial technology patents directive. Internal market and services commissioner Charlie McCreevy announced the plan to seek views on how to improve the patent system in Europe and push forward the long-delayed Community Patent initiative, prompting anti-software patent campaigners to raise the alert. McCreevy said the Community Patent “remains central to our policy” and also invited “businesses and individuals alike” to enter into a debate on ways to improve the current patent system in Europe, and explore possible areas for harmonization across the EU.” The reading of this submission sounds rather ominous, but the community patent initiative isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Standardizing the patent system across Europe makes a lot more sense than having a fractured system — but, as the article notes, there’s a lot of fear that any attempt to do so will be used to bring back the idea of software patents.

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