back to article EU bodies to discuss IP barriers to innovation

A meeting of members of the European Commission and Council of Ministers will today and tomorrow discuss whether the European Union's intellectual property laws are holding back the region's competitiveness. The EU Commissioners for the internal market and for science and research will discuss patent and copyright laws with EU …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear more innovation doublespeak

    "The European patent system is costly and fragmented, discouraging innovation compared to the US and Japan. The difference in patenting costs in comparison to these countries is significant and is not being reduced. It is high time to change this situation,"

    It is costly and fragmented because the patents are written in languages and the languages are costly and fragmented. The germans wanted patents in German, the British in English and the French in French.... oh and the Japanese want patents in Japanese, and not only that, when they apply for patents in Europe, somehow they manage to do it in English, German and every other language.

    And some how, us European innovators patent in Japan in Japanese, yet somehow doing it in German is 'fragmented'??? I don't think so.

    Nobody wanted to EPO in central control, because the EPO went patent crazy and tried to let patents for business methods, software, cat-food flavours, you name it, they wanted to grant monopolies on it.

    Trade secrets work well and amazingly cross the language barrier perfectly. Silence is universal, the Chinese version of silence is the same as the German one! So at least in some areas, there is no fragmentation at all. Exactly the areas the Eurocrats kept their noses out of!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IP rights will be costly to reform...

    because to do it properly you have to have people who actually understand what they are looking at and have the time to research it.

    Equally importantly, the court process involving IP and copy right needs to be streamlined so that large companies can't bankrupt small companies by either stealing their works and making them take it to court to prove; or, accusing a company of theft and bankrupting them proving they didn't. This whole process should take less time and be less expensive.

    The system as it has evolved, or perhaps since it was created, has a severe slant toward the wealthy and the powerful, while most real innovation is developed/created by small companies/independents. Of course, that's not where the money for the politicians is.

  3. Steve McIntyre

    More/cheaper patents != more innovation

    But the commission doesn't/won't realise that...

  4. sandman
    Thumb Up

    Excellent idea

    At the risk of offending the usual suspects I would suggest that this is a very welcome move, after all, the EU was set up to provide an open market. (Remember the Common Market anyone)?

  5. Major N


    I was hoping form the title that someone in the EU had finally realised that IP and Copyrright laws are horrifically abused to stifle competition under a flood of legal threats and overbroad laws and patents. unfortunately, since they are calling their IP laws 'incomplete', I fear it will lead only to further stifling of innovation and more money and bigger monopolies for Big Business. Even if there is a voice of reason out there in such a hearing, I doubt he/she could be heard over the deafening tidal wave of monopolistic industry lobbyists.

  6. Nick Kew


    "We need a common piracy policy, instead of each country licensing its own privateers to raid any innovator who unwittingly strays onto its turf without paying protection money".

    Oh, and did someone say venture capital is fragmented? Venture capital is driven by tax breaks, as in why the **** else should I buy into a complete gamble when I can invest in the safety of Tesco or Vodafone. Update the tax laws to allow it, and venture capitalists will be willing and able to work cross-border.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Wait a minute....I'm sorry but...

    I currently hold the patent for "a method to enable the distribution and verification of ideas that are put forward as a solution to an issue at hand"

    So no discussions for the EU then, unless you pay me my licence fee of course that currently stands at ONE MILLION DOLLARS! HEHEHEH

  8. alain williams Silver badge

    Another attempt to bring in s/ware patents

    this is something that would stifle innovation, large companies would sue small ones to oblivion, small & large would be attacked by patent trolls - society in general looses.

    While they are looking at it, why not reduce the copyright term on things like books: life of author + 70 years is absurd; also Disney's Puff Boat Willie should be in the public domain by now.

  9. Lou Gosselin

    Software Patents, Costy and useless

    "The European patent system is costly and fragmented, discouraging innovation compared to the US and Japan."

    Speaking as a software developer in the US, the patent system exists to protect lawyers and litigating corporate business models. Innovation is necessarily an afterthought.

    Patents escalate the difficulty of bringing products to market, increase long term risk, and offer no benefit to us, the individual developers who just want to innovate without first getting permission from highly paid lawyers.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    WTF! Fascism stiffles innovation.

    IP is just another way of saying you are too lazy and/or incompetent to compete in a Capitalist free market, so instead buy these Fascist indulgences from the state.

    I doesn't matter how reasonable Patents and Copyrights seem on the surface, they discourage internal and external innovation, and tend to favour larger businesses, who can afford the legal staff to enforce them, or bully past them.

    Make no mistake the EU is not our friend, despite what transnational corporations may say, if it continues to usurp national sovereignty, innovation will become even harder for most European business!

    The European market is a smoke screen, the real aim is a transnational EU Fascist state. Just look at the prototype, in Nazi Germany, to see how badly business faired under such a system!

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