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[FYI] FICPI on Business Methods Patents


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FICPI, the International Federation of Intellectual Property 
Attorneys, broadly representative of the free profession of more than 
70 countries, assembled at its World Congress held in Vancouver from 
June 12 to June 16, 2000, passed the following Resolution :  

Taking note  

a.of the proposal for removal of the exclusion from patentability of 
inventions relating to computer programmes as such from the list of 
exclusions in Article 52(2) of the EPC in connection with the 
upcoming revision of the Convention, and  

b.the development of law and practice in the United States with 
respect to patenting of innovations relating to electronic commerce,  

Having considered  

a.the significant differences between the approach taken within the 
existing framework of the US Patent System and maintenance of the 
exclusion of business methods from patenting in patent legislation in 
Europe and the risk of distortion of global trade that may be caused 
by such differences,  

b.the development of patenting practice in Europe and Japan leading 
to grant of patents on computer or on software operated business 
methods, and  

c.the US approach including the business method patent initiative 
action plan published by the USPTO,  

Resolves that to secure adequate IP protection to commercially highly 
valuable innovations in information technology as applied in any 
sector of business, including financial and E-commerce sectors, there 
is an urgent need to harmonize conditions for patent protection in 
this field, and  

Urges relevant authorities at the global, regional and national 
levels, including WIPO, WTO, the Commission of the European 
Communities, the Administrative Council of the European Patent 
Organization, USPTO and JPO to undertake efforts to promote such 

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