Scots MEP welcomes rejection of software patent plans

06 July 2005
"This shows the power of the Parliament and of European protest"

Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith today congratulated the Parliament on its rejection of European Commission proposals for a new Europe wide system of software patents.

The plans to impose patents on software had been strongly resisted by small and medium sized software developers in Scotland and across Europe. The European Commission yesterday announced that if the Parliament rejected the plan they would not introduce anymore legislation on patents.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the Parliament rejected the proposals Mr Smith said

"The Parliament has today shown its worth. The Commission and the European Council have consistently ignored the will of the Parliament and the people of Europe on this matter. This was a comprehensive rejection by 648 votes to 14, they cannot ignore us now.

"I only hope that this time the Commissioner keeps his word and does not try to bring in this system through another piece of legislation. This issue should now be declared dead and software developers allowed to get back to business.

"The Commission tried to scare us by saying rejecting patents would harm competitiveness but this was a piece of legislation designed to serve only the interests of multinational companies.

"I have had many small software developers and firms warning me of the impact this would have on their ability to compete and the threat it posed to jobs. Scotland has a burgeoning software and technology industry. Today's decision means that industry will be able to continue to grow and achieve its full potential."

Note to Editors

The planned Directive on the Patentability of computer-implemented inventions was rejected outright by 648 votes to 14 with 18 abstentions