Original Italian text: Ital040517It

Italian Deputy Minister of Economics joins Minister of Technology in Refusal of Software Patents

Baldassari, deputy minister of economics and finance of italy and representative of Italy on the Competitivity Council, has expressed support for the position of his colleague Lucio Stanca to oppose software patents, criticise the Irish Council presidency's plan and ask for a delay.



We must publish a plaintext version in English as soon as possible. BEWARE: Automatic translation, still being cleaned up.

(early version, v0.2)

Dear Lucio,

I wish to express my full support to the position from expressed You with respect to the proposal of Directive in matter of patentabiltiy of the software.

As you know, in the exercise of the delegation on the computer science authority conferred me for the Ministry of the Economy, such argument is of pre-eminent relief in relation to in relation to the consequences of economic nature that the regime of proposal on patentablity could cause for Public Administration.

In occasion of the ballot of the European Parliament, that was on 24 September 2003, I contacted personally the Honorable Muscardini, head group of National Alliance to the European Parliament, and with her we agreed a common line of action in order to amend the text meaningfully that originates from the Commission, that was considered inadequate as for the vagueness with which it expressed the conditions of applicability of the patentability.

I would want moreover some points, to the perplexity that you express understandingly, some ulterior considerations.

The American Federal Trade Commission(FTC) has expressed worry on the implications of the effect their model of patentability of software in the United States, and what the Irish Presidency proposed is extremely similar.

The software producers that hold patents can raise the access barriers, or strongly inhibit the possiblity to enter into the market, with unavoidable consequences on the level of the costs for Public Administration.

Some important standardization bodies of data formats and transmission protocols allow their members to contribute to the standards of the groups which they participate also with resources covered from patents, but the "Intellectual Property Policies" allow the contributors to demand royalty with formulas RAND (Reasonable And Not Discriminatory) or free of charge to support their contributions, but with the possibility to introduce clauses if they not prevent the free modification of he code. Proprietary software could allow this but this would discriminate the offers based on Open Source solutions, which is incompatible with this royalty system, limiting the alternatives in computer science.

For these reasons, I join, sharing of totally the motivations, to Your demand to represent to the Council Competitiveness the critical position of the Italian Government, to protection of the economization of solutions ICT of which the our Country it has been equipped and more and more it will be equipped in near future.

A beloved salute,

Mario Baldassarri

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