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Software patent war ignites again

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Three political groups in the European Parliament (EP) have warned that software patents are re-emerging into EU politics with an EP vote scheduled for next month.

Last year the EP derailed a proposed directive that, critics argued, would have legitimised software patents in Europe. On Thursday the PES, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL parliamentary groups warned that a measure facing a parliamentary vote on 11 or 12 October could take up where the failed software patent directive left off.

Internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy is to deliver a speech next week promoting the measure, called the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA).

In rebuttal, the three groups have filed a motion calling for "balance between the interests of patent holders and the broader public interest in innovation and competitive markets", a spokesman for the groups said on Thursday.

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