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Decision On EU Software Patent Directive Postponed Until 2005

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

10 December 2004


Following Poland's withdrawal last month of its support for the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions Directive, also known as the Software Patent Directive, it emerged on Tuesday that a vote on the matter has been postponed until next year.

In a statement released at the time, the Polish authorities explained that:

"Because of numerous ambiguities and contradictions respecting the current directive project, Poland cannot support the text which was accepted in the vote of the Council on May 18, 2004."

However, the statement went on to add that the government would be prepared to accept an amended directive which stated that "computer-implemented inventions" can be patented, but software cannot.

The move to postpone the vote has been welcomed by critics of the Directive, who have become increasingly vocal in recent months, arguing that a directive allowing the patenting of computer software could drive smaller firms and programmers out of business.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining offshore e-commerce and online gaming is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report6.asp

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