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Patents and Fishes: Interim Report

Copy of the letter I have received from     FFII <[email protected]>

Dear FFII supporter [1],

The adoption of the Council’s software patent agreement seems to have been postponed once more.  We heard this from various knowledgable sources, but it has not been publically confirmed by the Council presidency.

If the adoption is postponed, the Parliament will have the chance to restart the procedure[2].  Even Klaus-Heiner Lehne MEP (German Christian Democrat), who is presiding over the decisions in the legal affairs committee (JURI) and has gone to some lengths to resist the restart while spreading the latest fallacies of the patent lobby[3], agreed that he would be open to the restart project if the Council postponed once more.

We will see a lobbying blitz of unprecedented proportions on the part of the patent industry in the coming weeks and months.

If we can obtain neither a discussion in the Council nor a restart in the Parliament, we enter a second reading.  In that case the newly elected Parliament will have only 3-4 months to react and it will factually need a 60-70% majority against the Council’s proposals.  This would be a highly risky game, and we would also lose our best chances of melting the ice in the Council.

Yet even in a 2nd reading we should win.  We are offering proven solutions, whereas the patent industry is throwing
nothing but money and FUD at the MEPs.

We believe we *will* win this year’s battle, if we manage to:
(1) raise a fraction of the funds that the patent industry  is spending, so as to pay for our Brussels office (i.e. a 
5-digit sum).  It was the groundwork of our representatives  that gained the trust of MEPs in 2003.  Fruitful working
    relationships have been built ever since, but our fulltime  staff has to live on something, and our coffers are empty.

(2) properly communicate with you.  The webdemo campaign must  now be regularly renewed, with new model letters, banners and and instructions for action. We need to show our friends in the Parliament what a large and well-informed community is working with us.

For the time being we would like you to

  • subscribe to the europarl-parl mailing list[4] and prepare   to come to Brussels for at least two days in the period 24  January – 2 February to meet JURI MEPs or their assistants.
  • Continue to ask your government to delay (on the basis of Art. 3 of the EU Council’s Rules of Procedure[5]) any attempts  to adopt the 18 may text as a common position, continue to demand  a recount of votes (B-item).
  • Stay tuned to and help us us reorient  and enlarge the webdemo during the next days and weeks.
  • Find your local MEP[6], read up on the software patent dossier, think about how you motivate your MEPs or their   assistants to communicate with you.
  • Make a donation[7] for the coming months’ Brussels operations.

Yours sincerely,

Hartmut Pilch, Erik Josefsson, Jan Macek,
Bernhard Kaindl, Christian Cornelssen

[1] cwalterw in
Remark: if you would rather have this more localized
(eg for alerts to events at,
there is eg not much info yet on the Delhi and Virginia event)
you can also add yout country/address data (for getting localised
versions when provided) and/or subscribe to
local mailing lists via that interface (to some degree
supplemented by
[6] You may want to use the "My MEP" tool in

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