Software patents

Directive proposals

The latest information we have (late June) is that the European Parliament will vote on the proposed software patents directive in September 2003. The last time EFFI participated 7-8th May 2003 in a conference opposing patents at EU parliament. - Software patents directive is not the only EU directive proposal regarding software patents. Also IPR enforcement directive proposal published 30th January 2003 aims at broadening the effects of software patents.

Finland's position

In Finland Patents and trademark office has announced 14th February 2003 to start accepting product claims in software innovations while the directive proposal is still undecided in Brussels.

Before, the Finnish parliament took in October 2002 the position to accept extensive patentability of computer programs. The Finnish position is a reply to EU directive proposal on software patents as given on the 2002-09-20. EFFI was asked to give an expert opinion at the Parliament's special committee hearing on 2002-09-20. However, the committee's statement did not propose any changes to the preliminary postion of the Finnish government. In effect, Finland now officially support extensive software patentability. EFFI continues to criticise the extension of software patentability in Europe. We inform when the issue goes further and work in minimizing the potential negative effects caused by software patents in Finland and Europe.