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EU 2005 proposed amendments

These 21 amendments which aim to exclude software from patentability were prepared for the July 2005 vote in the European Parliament on the EU software patents directive. They are of a unique maturity because they were produced for real world use, by many groups and many experts, at the end of a campaign of more than five years, and with a real chance of being adopted.

(On the day that these amendments were to be voted on, the European Parliament decided to cancel the whole legislative procedure.)

What is patentable

To exclude software ideas from patentability, a few terms had to be defined and a few clarifications had to be inserted, so there's no one sentence for excluding software ideas from patentability. However, by combining the core amendments, the definition ends up as:

"In order to be patentable, any invention, in the sense of patent law, the performance of which involves the use of programmable apparatus must make a contribution to the state of the art in a field of technology. The contribution is the set of features by which the scope of the patent claim as a whole is considered to differ from the state of the art. The contribution must be technical, that is, comprise technical features and belong to a field of applied natural science. The technical contribution must be new and not obvious to the person skilled in the art."

Other details

Definition of computer

"A “computer” is a realisation of an abstract machine, consisting of entities such as processing units, storage space and interfaces for information exchange with external systems and human users. “Data processing” is calculation with abstract component entities of computers. A “computer program” is a data processing solution which can, once it has been correctly described, be executed by computers."

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