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EU assembly throws out bill to harmonise patents

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – The European Parliament voted to throw out a controversial EU bill to harmonise the patenting of software-related inventions on Wednesday after lawmakers said it pleased nobody in its present form.

The assembly voted by 648 to 14 with 18 abstentions to reject the law and stop a version of the legislation, already approved by the European Union’s 25 member states, from becoming law.

The European Commission which drafted the bill said it respected the decision and that it would not put forward any new proposed legislation in this area.

The bill has polarised the technology industry, with large firms like Microsoft, Nokia and Siemens saying the changes sought by the EU assembly would leave products open to copycat versions from China and elsewhere.

Supporters of open-source or free software had welcomed the changes sought by some EU lawmakers to limit what types of inventions can be patented.


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