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Tuesday, 5 July 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Patentability of computer-implemented inventions

  John Attard-Montalto (PSE). Mr President, the debate on computer-implemented innovations has been an interesting, passionate debate, but unfortunately most of the contributors have taken either a black or a white position. Everybody realises that this is an extremely complex issue. Referring to it in biblical terms does not help because it continues to put the various arguments into compartments. On the one hand, we have heard, with regard to this directive, that if we do not come down on the side of patents in general, we will stifle innovation and make Europe less competitive. Therefore, we will be going against what we have been trying to achieve through the Lisbon Agenda.

On the other hand, we have heard that if there is regulation of patents, this will add to bureaucracy and affect the consumer. According to one speaker, that will be a threat to democracy. I personally believe that we have to view the whole issue globally.

First of all, it is pointless for us to concentrate in Europe on this particular matter without taking into consideration the entire matter of patents.

Secondly, as regards Europe’s position in a globalised world, it is pointless for us to legislate whilst not being part of an international legislative structure which encourages other continents and developing or developed countries to participate on an international plane.

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