[Discussioni][Fwd: [ffii] Reuters reports about 5 CEOs letter]

Christian Surchi christian a softwarelibero.it
Sab 13 Dic 2003 16:35:03 CET

-----Messaggio Inoltrato-----
From: Hartmut Pilch <phm a a2e.de>
To: news a ffii.org
Subject: [ffii] Reuters reports about 5 CEOs letter
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 11:21:06 +0100

FFII News -- For Immediate Release -- Please Redistribute
+++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++
The Reuters news agency is finally spreading news that we published a
month ago


but unfortunately in an inexact and biased form, without reference to
the source text.



11 Dec 2003 21:57 Europe's top tech firms oppose EU patent draft

By Jan Strupczewski

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Europe's top five technology firms have warned the
EU in a joint letter that 15 billion euros ($18.25 billion) of their
annual R&D spending could be wasted if it implemented proposed changes
to its software patent law.

The letter, which was sent last month but surfaced on Thursday, was
signed by the heads of telecoms and technology giants Nokia, Ericsson,
Siemens, Philips and Alcatel.

The companies asked the European Commission to scrap changes introduced
to a new software patent draft by the EU parliament on September 24,
saying they deprived their products of patent protection.

"The vote in parliament...has completely turned the commission's
original proposal around, removing effective patent protection for much
-- and in the case of telecommunications and consumer electronics
probably most -- of our R&D investment," they said in the letter, a copy
of which was obtained by Reuters.

"This would have devastating consequences for our companies. It would be
open for all-comers to exploit the results of our expensive R&D
(research and development) programmes at no cost."

They sent the letter, dated November 7, to the European Union's (EU)
Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkenstein and Information Society
Commissioner Erkki Liikanen.

An Ericsson spokesman said on Thursday he was not aware of an answer
from the Commission yet. A spokesman for Commissioner Bolkenstein said
he was checking if the letter had been received.

Under current European Union rules software cannot be patented but
inventions that use the software can. The new patent law drafted by the
EU Commission aims to turn that practice into law.

But the EU parliament changed the draft, introducing amendments to
ensure patents are not used to block competing inventions.

As a result, the patent protection on software-based products, like
modern telephone exchanges, had been weakened, the five companies argued.

"You could compare it with an old telephone exchange where all the parts
were patent-protected. Today the exchange is digital and run by a
computer programme, which under these rules could not be protected,"
Ericsson spokesman Peter Olofsson said.
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