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Attempts To Derail EU Software Patent Directive Are Misguided, Says Patent Expert

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

06 December 2004


Speaking following Poland's recent decision to withdraw its support for the proposed EU Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions Directive in the form in which it was approved by the EU Council earlier this year, UK patent expert Dr John Collins has slammed critics of the legislation, arguing that their perception of the scope of the Directive is misguided.

Dr Collins, a partner with Marks & Clerk, one of the UK's foremost law firms specialising in patents and trademarks, told the national media late last month that:

"The original proposal was solely designed to clarify and unify existing practice in the EU. However, the current version - as a result of amendments made by the European Parliament - will result in patent holders in certain areas losing a significant element of protection meaning that some existing patents will become worthless."

He also criticised Linux creator, Linus Torvalds, who has recently ramped up his opposition to the legislation, which is more commonly known as the Software Patents Directive.

"Torvalds and his supporters lack a fundamental understanding of intellectual property rights as they seem to be unaware that copyright can only protect software code, and not software inventions. Allowing for patent protection on software inventions is a requirement of the World Trade Organisation's TRIPS agreement which states that patents must be available in all fields of technology," Dr Collins was quoted by the Out-Law news service as observing.


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