The Danish government has traditionally left patent matters almost completely in the hands of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO), which has been one of the most vigorous promoters of the patent faith and of software patentability in Europe. However, as in other countries, the DKPTO's control over the dossier has recently started to become shaky.
The government can't draw on its usual supporter, the EU skeptical Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti) in this matter, so draws support from the main opposition party, the Social Democrats. Right now they are undecided, but check for updates.
On the Feb. 8 election the Christian Democrats lost all of their 4 seats. They are strong software patent opponents, and while their votes were uninfluential this means the loss of a speaking platform against unlimited patentability.
- 2005-02-08 Parliamentary elections.
2005-01-23 democrats call for time out Buksti0501En
2004-06-04 DK Minister defends Council "compromise" in Parliament - Minister Bendt Bendtsen in open meeting of Parliament's European Affairs Committee: "I am pleased with the proposal"
2004-05-18 DK in Council: "We are not happy, but ...",
Patent Movement in the Name of the Danish Government
Their activities of the patent officials in the Danish Ministry of Economics include
- efforts to
- rush the CEC/BSA software patentability directive through the Council of the European Union (CEU) and to
- worsen it by introducing program claims
- publishing "expert opinions" which claim that no innovation would happen without patents and that patents are beneficial even for the development of free/opensource software
- placing the Danish EU Presidency of 2002 under the slogan "Growth, Prosperity and Patents"
- lobbying for EU subsidies to a proposed insurance for patent owners
supporting the Council's political agreement of 2004-05-18 while pretending to be "unhappy" about it -- this was later negated publicly by the minister himself.
Danish Patent Office stricter on Prior Art ?
D. Martin explained at the FFII Conference 2004 that his company is supplying prior art search services for the DKPTO which have enabled them to reject many more patents than other patent offices. This in turn has diminished the revenues of the DKPTO, because applicants now prefer to go to the EPO instead.