nettime maillist on Wed, 23 Jun 1999 19:38:36 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index] EU sign-on effort on software patents

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 09:04:56 -0400
From: t byfield <>
Subject: [ EU sign-on effort on software patents]

----- Forwarded 

Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 03:15:23 -0400
From: James Love <>
To: Multiple recipients of list RANDOM-BITS <>
Subject: EU sign-on effort on software patents

This is a URL for a sign-on letter to the European Commission in
opposition to US style software patents in Europe.

See also the discussion on here:

This is also a trade issue, since Article 27 of the WTO's TRIPS agreement
(on intellectual property) requires members of the WTO to provide patents
to "all fields of technology," with only a few exceptions, and some US
officials want to push for greater international acceptance of software
and business practices patents.  Also, the working group on electronic
commerce of the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue ( is
currently reviewing this issue in terms of the WTO work program on
electronic commerce. 

  Jamie Love <>

Here is Article 27 of the TRIPS

                    Article 27
             Patentable Subject Matter

1.  Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3, patents shall be
available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields
of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and
are capable of industrial application.See footnote 5 Subject to paragraph
4 of Article 65, paragraph 8 of Article 70 and paragraph 3 of this
Article, patents shall be available and patent rights enjoyable without
discrimination as to the place of invention, the field of technology and
whether products are imported or locally produced. 

2.  Members may exclude from patentability inventions, the prevention
within their territory of the commercial exploitation of which is
necessary to protect ordre public or morality, including to protect human,
animal or plant life or health or to avoid serious prejudice to the
environment, provided that such exclusion is not made merely because the
exploitation is prohibited by their law. 

3.  Members may also exclude from patentability: 

    (a) diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of
humans or animals; 

    (b) plants and animals other than micro-organisms, and essentially
biological processes for the production of plants or animals other than
non-biological and microbiological processes. However, Members shall
provide for the protection of plant varieties either by patents or by an
effective sui generis system or by any combination thereof. The provisions
of this subparagraph shall be reviewed four years after the date of entry
into force of the WTO Agreement. 

Footnote: 5For the purposes of this Article, the terms "inventive step"
and "capable of industrial application" may be deemed by a Member to be
synonymous with the terms "non-obvious" and "useful" respectively. --

James Love Consumer Project on Technology 202.387.8030; fax 202.234.5176

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