Sep 30, 2003
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250.000 signatures against Software Patents in Europe

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Last Wednesday the Parliament voted against software patents and for
freedom of publication, freedom of interoperation and other basic values of
the information society, thereby reversing the thrust of a directive proposal
from the European Commission, so as to basically satisfy the demands of a
quarter million signatories of the Eurolinux Petition for a Software
Patent Free Europe [1] and 30 eminent computer scientists. The initiators of
both petitions will speak before the European Parliament’s Petition Committee
on tuesday 18.00 to express their thanks and explore with MEPs what still
needs to be done.

The Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe [1] and the Scientists
Petition [2] are being presented on Tue 30 Sept 2003 at 6 pm in
the Petition Committee in the European Parliament Room A3G2, Building Altiero
Spinelli (ASP) at Brussels by Hartmut Pilch and Philippe Aigrain.

On 10 Nov, software patents are possibly on the agenda for a meeting of
governmental patent experts from EU member states in the European
Council [3]. The software patent owner lobby and EU Internal Market
Commissioner Frits Bolkestein are now counting on the Council, whose patent
policy working party has proven in the past to be very responsive to
patent owner wishes. Bolkestein and his supporters have predicted that the
Council will withdraw the directive or, if that fails, give in to anticipated
US pressure [4]. Earlier this month the US Patent Office and Frits Bolkestein
[5] issued statements warning MEPs that they would ruin their chances of
democratic participation if they voted as they did last wednesday.

In this atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and distrust (FUD) campaigning
against the European Parliament, both Mr Aigrain and Mr Pilch are
expected to strenghten the Parliament’s position.

For attending the meeting, please send mail to with your name and
postal address.



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