Orders of the Day — Patents Bill [Lords]
Mr David Taylor (North West Leicestershire, Labour/Co-operative)
I was pleased to hear that one division of the Patent Office in Newport deals with intellectual property. Does my hon. Friend agree that if we do as the Bill suggests and comply with the revised European patent convention, there is a risk that software patents will become the rule in Europe, as they are in Japan and the United States? There are real risks to that, in that such matters are not the subject of intellectual creation; they are just different ways of doing things and obvious ways of using new technology. If we go down that path, we will chill innovation, damage our competitiveness and open programmers and the companies that employ them to legal challenge at every turn. To declare an interest, I speak as a former software developer.