Nlparl040603En

2004-06-03 NL Minister misinformed Parliament, Parliament will discuss again before signature is given

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Today, the 3rd of june, the Commission of Economic Affairs of the Dutch Parliament discussed the vote pro software patents which Minister Brinkhorst cast at the European Council. In a letter to parliament before the council, Brinkhorst had stated an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council. This was misinforming the parliament, so the commission decided the Netherlands will not undersign the council's text before the parliament will have debated software patents. A majority to withdraw the vote pro software patents is growing. Secretary of state Van Gennip, who represented Minister Brinkhorst at the meeting, claimed the misinformation regarding the agreement between the EP and the Council was caused by a bad wording due to a "word processing error".

Also present was Europarlementarian Johanna Boogerd, who stated that the European Parliament's crucial amendments were thrown out of the text the Council accepted, notably the definition of "technical". MP Van Dam from the !PvdA noted that the exclusion of "computer programs as such" from patentability did not exclude "computer programs executed by a computer". The argument from Van Gennip that retracting the Dutch vote would not change anything anyway, was met with depreciation from the parliamentarians. She did admit that although unusual, it was not impossible for the Netherlands to do this.

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