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7/4/2005
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Five European CEOs Lobby On Software Patents

The chief executives of Alcatel, Ericsson, Nokia, Philips and Siemens wrote a joint letter to European political leaders objecting to proposed amendments to a directive on the Patentability of Computer Implemented Inventions, which is due to be voted on in the European parliament.

LONDON — The chief executives of Alcatel, Ericsson, Nokia, Philips and Siemens wrote a joint letter to European political leaders objecting to proposed amendments to a directive on the Patentability of Computer Implemented Inventions, which is due to be voted on in the European parliament.

The five CEOs, together with EICTA (European Information, Communications and Consumer Electronics Technology Industry Associations) said the proposed amendments risked negatively impacting investment in research and development (R&D) and employment in Europe.

In the letter, they call for a balanced legal framework to ensure that Europe remains a competitive region for high value R&D. They also highlight the importance they attach to the ability to patent computer implemented inventions.

The five CEOs are supportive of the ability to patent software embodied in the proposed directive but concerned that the amendments may weaken their position in relation to their competition elsewhere around the world, according to reports.

"As the leaders of these companies, we strongly believe in the need to ensure a balanced legal framework to ensure that Europe remains a competitive region for high value R&D. A key element in this respect is the legal framework for patents for computer implemented inventions," the business leaders wrote.

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