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Election of the Software patent of the year 2006

7 November 2006 – Patent monopoly of Siemens on data exchange via cellular network elected to be "Software patent of the year 2006" In the second place: Software patent EP1056268, based on which Lucent Technologies claims property rights for the transfer of e-mails with attachments. Siemens AG und European Patent Office attract criticism. more

5 October 2006 – Election of "software patent of 2006" has started. Here you can take part in the voting.

5 October 2006 – "Software patent of September" von Philips monopolizes software-download for device control – Prime example for the patent granting practice of the European Patent Office – For Philips, owner of the monopoly, EP1044400 is not a software patent – Emcita comments on the election

5 September 06 – "Software patent of August", owned by Nutzwerk, threatens developers of spam- and virus filters. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office is critcised for granting software patents. The election of the "software patent of September" has started.

4 September 06 – Jedox, provider of open-source based Business Intelligence Solutions, is new campaign partner since beginning of September 2006. mehr

2 August 2006 – Mobile surfing on the Internet is patent protected Internet-users voted for patent of Siemens to be the "software patent of July". – The patent specifications of EP0836787outline a monopoly claim for the exchange of data packets via a mobile radio network between a mobile client and a server. August features "prize winning" software patents to choose from. more

4 July 2006 – nosoftwarepatents-award sheds light on current patent-initiative of the EU-Commission. more

4 July 2006 – Mailig-lists, internet-panels and firewalls infringe the software patent EP1022875 of NTT. The patent is elected "software patent of June".

3 July 2006 EU-Commission has published preliminary findings on the consultation on the future patent policy in Europe. more

1 June 2006 – Patent of Lucent elected to be "software patent of May".

1 June 2006 – nosoftwarepatents-award invites to submit examples for alleged "valuable" software patents. more

3 May 2006 – EPO grants patent on algorithm related to devices for measuring consumption.

3 April 2006 - Philips patent on context menu nominated for the election of the "software patent of the year 2006" more

Business methods and programs for computers are not patentable. This is stipulated unambiguously within the framework of the European Patent Convention effective since 1973. On this basis, a lively software industry made up of small and medium-sized enterprises was able to develop throughout Europe.

Despite the patent convention, European patent authorities have patented software time and time again. Although the EU directive on software patents was rejected in July of 2005, many companies believe they are facing the risk of thousands of software patents granted in Europe becoming legally enforceable.

By conferring the nosoftwarepatents-award 2006, we are dragging software patents from the databases of patent authorities out into the open. We explain them in a way that allows everybody to envision the patented idea and the associated patent claims. Examples show which procedures and actions are protected by the respective patent and the patent violations that can result from them.

Enforceable software patents cause serious economic damages and can be used as weapons against competitors. With this in mind many large companies constantly expand their patent arsenals - with software patents which should not exist according to the current legislation and which are disputed to be in existence again and again.

Until autumn of 2006 we will present you every month with five software patents granted by European patent offices. From these software patents you can select the one you believe to be the most harmful and which should therefore be the "softwarepatent of the month". Please inform yourselves about the candidates of the current month and submit your vote here.

Every "softwarepatent of the month" is automatically nominated for the final online-voting, in which you can elect the patent that should receive the nosoftwarepatents-award 2006. This voting and the conferral of the award are going to take place in the autumn of 2006. One patent will be the winner!

By voting, you are making a contribution to the public debate about software patents. We will inform the media of the results of this year's monthly and final elections and give them background information.

Furthermore, we provide you with access to additional sources of information on the topic of software patents and patent investigations as well as links to initiatives taking action against the possibility of patenting software.