Unitary Patent: the legal services of the European Parliament confirms doubts about illegalities, MEPs plunge ahead

Paris, November 28th, 2012. Press release.

On Monday, November 26th, 2012, the legal affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament held an exchange of views with the legal services1 on the legality of the Cypriot compromise on the unitary patent regulation. Once again, the illegalities of the project have been made obvious, but nonetheless the European Parliament seems decided to go forward. April calls for a re-examination of the text and the possibility to amend it, to ensure legal certainty.

After lawyers, law professors, and various specialists, it is the Legal Services of the European Parliament's turn to voice reservations about the legality of the organisation of the patent package. Indeed, the current proposal for a unitary patent package mixes elements of EU law and international law, and asks the European Parliament to give up all safeguards on defining patentatibility. All checks and balances, and our rights, including the rights to code, would then be questioned2.

Software patentability, and the means of recourse against such threats to innovation3, were briefly mentioned, but only to state that legal services do not know whether there will be any legal instance to oppose them.

“At this stage, it is clear that the Parliament isn't able to vote for a patent system that would both be acceptable by the Council, and be compliant with EU law and foster European innovation” explains Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, volunteer expert on patents for April. “The only solution to such a deadlock is to follow institutional rules and head on for a second reading. Would the Parliament bow down to Council's illegal and dangerous claims, the elected representatives could not be portrayed as anything else than Member States' lackeys, to the contempt of EU firms and citizens.”

It is consequently crucial to keep on informing MEPs on the threats posed by the current unitary patent proposal, by calling MEPs to inform them. Companies can also sign the resolution proposed by April.

About April

Pioneer of free software in France, April is since 1996 a major player in the democratisation and the spread of Free Software and open standards to the general public, professionals and institutions in the French-speaking world. In the digital era that is ours, it also aims to inform the public on the dangers of an exclusive appropriation of information an knowledge by private interests.

The association has over 5,000 members, using or producing Free Software.

For more information, you may go to the following website: http://www.april.org/, contact us by phone at +33 178 769 280 or through our contact form.

Press contacts:

Frédéric Couchet, Executive Director, fcouchet@april.org +33 660 688 931
Jeanne Tadeusz, Public Affairs Officer, jtadeusz@april.org +33 1 78 76 92 82
Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, Volunteer Advisor on patents brevets, gibus@unitary-patent.eu +33 6 60 56 36 45