Questions for Journalists to Ask at Press Conference
- Why has DE voted for the proposal although it has explicitly announced on May 12 that it would not do so?!
- You say that you do not want patents on algorithms and business methods. However the European Patent Office has already granted more than 30000 patents on algorithms and business methods, including such things as the runlength coding used in the JPEG standard and Amazon's E-Commerce methods. Now as I understand the text, the European Parliament's proposal would make these patents invalid, while yours would make them valid, wouldn't it? Could you tell me approximately how many of the EPO's patents the Parliament's proposal would make invalid, how many the Council proposal would make invalid?
- Apparently the Council wants more software patents to be granted than the European Parliament. Now there seems to be a large consensus of software developers, software companies and economists that it would be more desirable to have fewer patents in this area. This has even been said in study reports from the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Council, the European Council of the Regions and the European Parliament. Could you explain why now suddenly the governments seem to believe that having more patents on what you call "computer-implemented inventions" (i.e. basically algorithms and business methods) is helpful to Europe's economy?
- Article 5.2 says that a computer program on its own can be claimed under certain circumstances. Does this not conflict with the statement that patents on computer programs as such are not allowed by the Council proposal?
- (ccorn's version, deemed being packed too much) Article 5 of the council version of the directive wants computer-implemented processes and their descriptions to be patentable. Given that computer programs are precisely that, namely descriptions of computer-implemented processes, there is a contradiction to article 52(2) EPC which says that, among others, computer programs must not be mistaken as inventions. How can art.5 of the council version then increase legal certainty instead of decreasing it?
- You say that pure software patents will not be allowed, because the invention has to have a further technical effect. However, you do not define technical anywhere, and the European Patent Office interprets this for example as "it makes a computer run faster". How does the Council proposal render this interpretation invalid?
- Article 2b allows non-technical features to add a so-called "technical contribution" as long as the claim as a whole comprises technical features, e.g. a generic computer. How can this limit anything?
- The Council proposal wants to guarantee the right to interoperate by referring to the European antitrust laws. How does this help an SME which cannot interoperate with a program from e.g. Microsoft because of a patent? Won't such proceedings take too long and won't the SME be bankrupt long before the investigations have even started?
- property law is currently still assigned to member states, and European Courts have decided that consequentially, this is also the case for intellectual property. Won't this cause problems for EU antitrust authorities when trying to deal with software patent abuses?