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EU and USA negotiating mutual patent recognition
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| In its statement on the results of the Transatlantic Economic Council
| negotiations, issued last week, the council made brief reference to the
| intellectual property rights issue. A single bullet point in the statement
| references a roadmap issued jointly by the European Commission and US Patent
| Office aimed at advancing "global patent harmonization".
| According to FFII President Alberto Barrionuevo, in the TEC talks the
| commission overstepped its bounds with respect to commercial rights. "The
| European Union has neither a Community patent, nor a common material patent
| law." The only exception is the Biotech Directive. For that reason
| Barrionuevo believes that, "Discussing a bilateral patent treaty with the
| United States is superfluous. It is the blind leading the blind." He thinks
| that if the US really wants to fix its patent practises, it should first
| enact its controversial planned patent reforms and become a signatory to the
| European Patent Convention. McCreevy's spokesperson stated that the treaty
| was not about software patents, "Something not approved here could not be
[ffii] McCreevy wants to legalise Software Patents via a US-EU patent treaty
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| Brussels, 13 May 2008 -- European Commissioner McCreevy is pushing for a
| bilateral patent treaty with the United States. This Tuesday 13 May in
| Brussels, White House and European representatives will try to adopt a
| tight roadmap for the signature of a EU-US patent treaty by the end of
| the year. Parts of the proposed treaty will contain provision on
| software patents, and could legalise them on both sides of the Atlantic.
| "TEC talks are the current push for software patents. The US want to
| eliminate the higher standards of the European Patent Convention. The
| bilateral agenda is dictated by multinationals gathered in the
| Transatlantic Economic Business Dialogue (TABD). When you have a look
| who is in the Executive Board of the TABD, you find not a single
| European SME in there", says Benjamin Henrion, a Brussels based patent
| policy specialist.
| The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) which comprises EU and US high
| level representatives put a substantive harmonisation of patent law on
| its agenda. Substantive patent law covers what is patentable or not. The
| attempt to impose the low US standards on Europe via the Substantive
| Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) process utterly failed at the World
| Intellectual Property Organisation. Also progress in the WIPO B+
| subgroup (without development nations) could not be reached.
The ghost of software patents is back!
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| Life is never easy for an open source evangelist. The OOXML drama came to a
| close on 2nd April 2008 and we were on to our next issue -- software patents.
| The Draft Patent Manual might end up bringing software patents through the
| back door. this would be surprising because the Indian parliament explicitly
| rejected software patents in the Patent Amendment Act 2005. In this blog, I
| am including extracts from a letter that I sent to the Patent Office on 11th
| April 2008. The deadline for comments was 15th April 2008.
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