Since 2001 the FSFE has been enhancing users' rights by abolishing barriers for software freedom. For 20 years we have been helping individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.

For the next two decades we need your help. We want everyone to be able to control their technology. Free Software and its freedoms to use, study, share, and improve are the key to that goal.

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News

Unitary patent threatens innovation in Europe

on:

Will lawsuits like Apple vs Samsung soon take place in Europe? The European Parliament is about to set the future course for Europe's patent system. On September 17th and 18th, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs committee will discuss a proposal for a EU-wide patent. From now until September 18th, FSFE will continuously provide updates and analysis on the unitary patent on our website.

This proposal has faced massive criticism from different sides. In its current form, it will mean:

The European Court of Justice warned in March 2011 that the previous patent proposal was incompatible with EU laws (pdf).

In December 2011, the European Council agreed to change the proposal. It was a change for the worse: By removing three key articles, the Council greatly reduced the role of the European Court of Justice in the future unitary patent system. The rapporteur for the Parliament's Legal Affairs committee, Bernhard Rapkay, warned that this sudden modification was likely to breach EU law. [Paragraph updated to reflect comments made by rapporteur of Legal Affairs Committee.]

In order to preserve and enhance Europe's capacity for innovation, FSFE demands that:

Update: The Legal Affairs committee decided to postpone the discussion on the unitary patent proposal. It will most likely take place later in the fall of 2012. FSFE will continue to provide updates and analysis as further information becomes available.

-> Find out more about the unitary patent