[ ICT Industry warns MEPs on Unitary Patent ]



Brussels, December 10th 2012 - Whereas the Unitary Patent is on the verge of being voted in plenary session at European Parliament, major actors of the ICT Industry expressed their concern on the lack of transparency in which the final stage of the law making process has been carried.

Nobody claimed to be against reducing innovation costs. Nor that simplified processes wouldn't benefit to European SMEs. It has been years since improving the patent system in Europe has been on the table. Does not mean we should accept anything, at any price. Just because we are fed up with never ending discussions.

From the moment the Unitary Patent came across Members of the European Parliament in Spring 2011, citizen initiatives have flourished to denounce the hijack on democracy hidden behind glowing objectives.

Indeed, under the cover of attractive formal reform, the Unitary Patent subtly takes away from the European Union its legislative power with regard to substantive law - such as patentability criterias and exceptions.

Academics took over the debate. Journalists followed up. 605 SMEs expressed their concern in a petition denouncing the risks related to software patents.

Last week, the voice of major ICT companies finally resounded as well through Open Forum Europe, Brussels based organization dedicated to openness and competition in the digital sector ; among its members, no more and no less than Google, IBM, Redhat, Oracle.

The organization's editor does not mince its words : "after decades of impasse, it now appears that lawmakers are trying to rush through a poor compromise in the last minute that may make matters worse, not better, for innovators in Europe", can we read in its recently issued press release.

As for the supposed reduction of costs pursued by the regulation : "the proposal will reduce the cost of registration but it will increase the overall cost of patent protection because litigation will become more complicated and expensive".

So what. After warnings from such a variety of actors.. Will puppeteers take over on MEPs good sense ? Hoping they won't. This, especially as the supposed "compromise" issued by the Council last month appears as a single paragraph in the oddest amendment ever tabled - covering the whole regulation at once. Enough to wake up the suspicion of the most inexperienced intern.

Watch out, MEPs ! You managed to reject Software Patents directive in 2005.. Don't get misled by the Unitary Patent today. Postpone your vote for further reflexion or reject full or part of amendment 70.

More information

» OFE on Unitary Patent - 'the EU should take more time to get it right' : http://www.openforumeurope.org/press-room/press-releases/patent%20press%20release%20pm.mb.pm.js.pm.7.12.12.pdf
» A preview on European Parliament plenary vote : https://www.unitary-patent.eu/content/lord-unitary-patents-preview-european-parliament-plenary-vote
» 605 companies demand an improvement of the unitary patent for Europe :
» Max Planck Institute - "The Unitary Patent Package: Twelve Reasons for Concern" :
» Global information about the Unitary Patent : http://www.unitary-patent.eu
» Remember July 6th, 2005, the Day European Parliament said NO to software patents : http://06072005.eu
» Link to this press release : http://06072005.eu/press-release:ict-industry-warns-meps

About Ultimate Circle

With headquarter in the heart of E.U. capital Brussels, Ultimate Circle supports innovation and transparency as the only way forward in shaping Europe's future. Mostly focusing on digital policy issues, spreading awareness on information society challenges, Ultimate Circle raises concerns on intellectual property drifts and governance opacity. Promoting openness as master word in the field of ICT, Ultimate Circle encourages citizen participation and centralizes resources for fair causes involved businesses.

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