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Archived updates for Wednesday, July 07, 2004

IHT: EU Software Patent Directive Update

According to a July 7, 2004 article by the International Herald Tribune, "In what could be an unprecedented move, the Dutch Parliament last week asked to change the "yes" vote that it cast at the May meeting of the Competitiveness Council (an economics advisory group that is part of the EU Council of Ministers) to support making software patentable throughout the European Union."

Motions have reportedly also been introduced in parliaments in other countries, including Germany, to consider a change in their own votes after accusations were aired that the Dutch minister misinformed his national Parliament about the directive’s status; that a stand-in for the Danish minister was coerced into a ‘‘yes’’ vote; that the German minister accepted last-minute changes to amendments made by his own country that were contrary to the wishes of the government; and that the Polish government, which originally abstained, was not asked for its opinion when the final agreement was recorded.

If the Competitiveness Council affirms its May 18 political agreement, the amended directive will go back to the European Parliament for a second reading.
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