On June 7th 2013, the German Bundestag adopted the inter-party-proposal “Securing competition and innovation dynamics in the field of software– effectively limiting the patenting of computer programs” at unanimity. According to the German Parliament intellectual property of innovative software developers should be protected only by copyright. Thus, software solutions shound not be patentable. The common praxis by the European Patent Office (EPO) and other national patent authorities to grant patents for abstract software solutions is not legitimated and should be cancelled according to the motion. The sole exception shall be made for solutions concerning computer programs witch substitute a mechanical or electro-mechanical component.
With this vote, the Bundestag responded positively to the campaign of the Bundesverband IT-Mittelstand e.V. – BITMi (the Federal Association of ICT-SMEs), German member of PIN-SME, which highlithed the problems with the current practices of the EPO that is causing damage to the competitiveness of small and medium sized software developers.
PIN-SME has welcomed the vote of the Bundestag and will promote a similar resolution to the European Parliament.
“German SMEs have convinced their Parliament that software patents are a constraint to competitiveness because they create costs and legal risks to innovators. We will call the European Parliament to follow this example for the good of SMEs in Europe” said Mr Charles Huthwaite, President of PIN-SME.
PIN-SME, the “the voice of ICT SMEs in Europe”, is the first European association of the ICT sector exclusively focused of representing the interests of SMEs. PIN-SME members are fourteen national sectorial SME associations from different EU countries. PIN-SME represents more than 50.000 enterprises, which employ around 200.000 people across Europe. PIN-SME is a registered interest representative (ID: 66552321207-56) in the EU.
BASSCOM – Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BULGARIA), CNA – Comunicazione e Terziario Avanzato, Confederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato e della Piccola e Media impresa (ITALY), ESTIC / CONETIC – Asociación Empresarial del Sector TIC (SPAIN), GPNI – Groupement Professionnel National de l’Informatique (FRANCE), It-forum midtjylland (DENMARK), UKITA – United Kingdom IT Association (UNITED KINGDOM), SwissMedia – Swiss IT & Multimedia Association (SWITZERLAND), BITMi – Bundesverband IT-Mittelstand e.V. (GERMANY), Vojvodina ICT Cluster (THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA), Belgrade Chamber of Commerce, IT Association (THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA), STIKK – Kosovo Association of Information and Communication Technology (THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO*)
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and ICJ Advisory opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.