Poland041104En

2004-11-04 EN Polish IT minister says directive bad for Poland and he's against it

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In response to an official parlamentary question about the the directive of "computer-implemented inventions" aka software patents, Michal Kleiber, the [Polish Minister of http://www.mnii.gov.pl/mnii/index.jsp?place=Menu01&news_cat_id=289&layout=2 Scientific Research and Information Technology] said in the polish parliament that this directive is bad for Poland, and he is against it.

Request for plenary debate was sidetracked by speaker ("marszaL*ek Sejmu") J.Oleksy. He declared that pronted request was "lost" by his office and he needs another week to consider it.

Faced with it our allies decided to request a inclusion of patent issue into a regular "questions-answers" session.

On thursday, Nov 4th leader of Labor Union ("Unia Pracy") Andrzej Aumiller asked the Minister for Science and Information Technology Michal Kleiber:

"Parliament Club of Labor Union is concerned about process of preparations of 2002/0047 Directive which - according to current wording - allows for unlimited patentability of algoritms and business methods implemented with use of computer technology. It will be dangerous for small and medium enterprises (...) and to the Polish and European IT industry. Also scientific freedom of research will be restricted.

On May 18th the Competitivity Council ignored the clear intention of European Parliament without explanation and rationale. With are concerned with lack of activity of Polish representatives who silently allowed to be counted as supporters od proposed directive. There were no previous public debate about the topic.

What is the current position and intentions of Polish government?"

Minister Kleiber responded (the full 3-pages long text in polish is posted on Polish Sejm webpage; below only the main points are cited):

"On the behalf of Prime Minister I am entitled to delare the following: (...) Currently art.52 of EPC excludes software from patentability. (...) Nevertheless EPO has granted several thousends of such a patents. (...) On May 18th Poland did not support the proposed directive and abstained.

We are aware of all shorcomings of current proposal. There is a danger of serious barriers for small and medium enterprises. (...)

We are looking for formal possibilities for reopening of debate. We will be able to decide only after tommorow's meeting of experts. We are prepared to assume an initiative and active role.

I regret but according to our sources The Nederlands as a current Presidency will not propose to restart a debate in Council. Instead they will probably formally declare that they are aware of dangers conncted with proposed directive."

In second tour Poland was not required to declare our position because the required majority was achieved without Polish participation. Our 8 votes were not necessary and we were not asked to change our position. (...)

Currently we are intensively working on our position. Tommorow the important meeting with experts in the field will is planned.

We are aware of all shorcomings of current proposal. There is a danger of serious barriers for small and medium enterprises. (...)

We are looking for formal possibilities for reopening of debate. We will be able to decide only after tommorow's meeting of experts. We are prepared to assume an initiative and active role.

I regret but according to our sources The Nederlands as a current Presidency will not propose to restart a debate in Council. Instead they will probably formally declare that they are aware of dangers conncted with proposed directive."

Currently we are intensively working on our position. Tommorow the important meeting with experts in the field will is planned.

A full official transcript (in polish) of the question and the answer can be found in the [Polish version of this news page http:Poland041104Pl]

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