ISVs and integrators have welcomed a decision by the European Council to adopt a common position on the proposed EU Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII).
Current legislation on CII patents is ambiguous and lacks legal certainty because the various patent laws are not equally supported by all of the EU's member states. The CII directive has therefore been proposed as an attempt to harmonise different EU patent laws.
The UK's high-tech trade industry body Intellect also welcomed the move.
"We feel that protection and reward for innovation is vital for R&D. Patents shouldn't discriminate between hardware and software. This will clarify the patent position," said Jennifer Carlton, senior programme manager at Intellect.
In December Intellect expressed its dismay at a decision to delay adoption of the CII directive by the EU Council of Ministers, but Carlton also told CRN that the proposed directive excludes patents for business processes and pure software.
"For a vendor the directive is positive, but it's really designed for inventors," Carlton said.
"SMEs could also benefit from the ability of having a patent and building their business around it."
Tony Milbourn, managing director of wireless integrator and Intellect member TTPCom, said the directive will help protect different integration methods for its products.
"Provided that the invention meets the usual criteria of novelty, inventiveness and technical contribution, the choice of how to implement it should be open, and we should be able to obtain patent protection for our innovation where appropriate," Milbourn said.
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