FFII announces major conference on future of European patent system

Brussels, 13 April 2007 — On 15 and 16 May, over thirty experts from universities, institutions, government, and industry gather in Brussels to discuss the question “What future for the patent system in Europe?”

Among the speakers are William Kovacic, US Federal Trade Commissioner, Ron Marchant, former Chief Executive of the UK Patent Office, Prof. Reto Hilty of the Max Planck Institute, and South African entrepreneur and industry leader Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, Ltd.

Brian Kahin of Washington-based CCIA, one of the organisations behind EUPACO, explains: “while the recent Communication from the Commission, ‘Enhancing the patent system in Europe’, focuses on the problems of the Community patent and the European Patent Litigation Agreement, it acknowledges the need for a holistic approach to patent policy. EUPACO-2 is a milestone event that addresses four main issues: costs and benefits, quality, diversity, and institutions.”

EUPACO-2 is the third event in the EUPACO series. In 2006, the FFII – a pan-European association representing small-to-medium IT firms and IT professionals – launched EUPACO to stimulate debate about the future of the EU patent system. The FFII has contributed to the European debate on software patents for over seven years.

Pieter Hintjens, FFII President and EUPACO founder, explains: “Until recently the European patent system seemed to be leaping, eyes closed, over the cliff in an imitation of US pratice. Now both sides of the Atlantic are looking for reform. We want a fresh, transatlantic debate to learn from each other’s mistakes and best practices.”

Hintjens concludes: “Much dialogue on patents is dominated by patent bureaucrats and attorneys. But we must discuss the future of the patent system openly, and embrace change where needed. Patents are economic tools, so we must measure them by their ability to drive innovation in today’s diverse markets. A focus on economics, data and open-minded discussion between many parties is what makes EUPACO so unique and attractive.”

Background information

  • Conference dates: 15-16 May 2007
  • Location: Metropole Hotel, Brussels
  • Registration fee: 250.00 EUR excl. VAT
  • Conference website: http://www.eupaco.org



FFII Office Berlin
Malmöer Str. 6
D-10439 Berlin
Fon: +49-30-41722597
Fax Service: +49-721-509663769
Email: office (at) ffii.org

About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, and open standards. More than 1,000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights in data processing.

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