~From the full report of the May 27th meeting, it is clear that Germany
is taking a hardcore stance and completely ignoring the motion
approved by its parliament. They think that any change proposed by the
JURI Committee to the Council text is unacceptable, except for some
cosmetic amendments tabled by Lehne MEP (EPP). Mr. Lehne's situation is
notable in itself, since he is also ignoring the position of his
national colleagues. . . .
The Netherlands' representatives similarly rejected most JURI
amendments on May 27th, although State Secretary Van Gennip had
promised the Parliament they would not take a position before the
Parliament had been consulted.
On June 3rd they only mentioned that a position paper had been
presented to the Dutch Parliament, but at the previous meeting they
even expressed doubts about minor amendments such as changing the
title from talking about "computer-implemented inventions" into
"computer-assisted inventions", because according to them it would
change the scope of the directive. . . .
Poland is at this time the only country which is consistently
supporting the EP's rapporteur, Michel Rocard MEP. It did get some
hesitant support from Denmark and Slovakia, as well as France in some
Spain, Italy and Austria were clearly giving up during the June 3rd
meeting however. Austria was following Germany. Italy even started to
help inventing fake compromises, such as putting all alternatives for
the term "computer-implemented invention" together into the definition
articles. Spain did support a few amendments tabled by Ortega MEP,
but those are a mixed bag. It is definitely not following the motion
passed by its Parliament last February. . . .
Hungary is, just like Germany, a categoric opponent of any amendments
to the Council text. On May 27th they claimed their experts went
already through all amendments and that none of the rapporteur's
amendments were acceptable, even though the Hungarian government's
report on said amendments will only be finished on June 6th.
The Commission is, perhaps surprisingly, more flexible than most of
the Eastern-European contingent (apart from Poland and Slovakia) and
Scandinavia (apart from Denmark). They seem to be prepared to drop
patent claims on computer programs on their own (so-called "program
Belgium did not yet take a firm position. Luxembourg neither, except
that they support an interoperability clause. Malta is for unlimited
patentability, but with a proper interoperability exemption. The UK,
Ireland, Portugal and Czech Republic only can accept some cosmetic
amendments here and there.
The UK also referred to the results of the workshops it held on
defining the term "technical contribution". It mentioned some
criticism from attendees on the usage of forces of nature to limit
patentability, but unsurprisingly failed to note the characterising
remark about the Council definition that lawyers would "be able to
drive a bus through it".