July 11, 2006 | Glyn Wintle

Commission Cheats European SMEs in Patent Consultation

The European Commission has been consulting on the future of Europe's patent regime and, as always, the FFII have been doing a good job of monitoring their progress. Fears that this was a third attempt to legalise software patents in Europe prompted a large number of SMEs, software developers and bigger IT firms to respond, but it seems that the Commission did not like the answers they got:

The Commission made an undercover move to get more "useful" answers following the 12 April closing date of its Patent Policy consultation. It sought out small firms across Europe who had used the patent system. It then provided these firms with new documentation and specialist assistance to help them write individual answers. None of the firms answering the online consultation got this help. But when the software firms in this new group came to the same conclusions as the FFII, the Commission concluded that these firms were "lacking knowledge about the patent system".

Commission Cheats European SMEs in Patent Consultation - FFII