Patent macht frei.
Michel Rocard, former France Prime Minister and now European Deputy, relates his experiences working in the European Commision in an interview with Le Menode. When asked whether American companies exerted pressure, he responds:
We were never able to talk a common language with the companies representatives we met – in particular those from Microsoft. Speaking about free circulation of ideas, about free access to knowledge, was like speaking chinese to them. In their way of thinking, something which cannot be turned into immediate profit ceases to be a growth vector. They seem incapable of understanding that a purely intellectual invention can’t be patented. It’s simply terrifying. At the Parliament, many of us agreed that they’ve never seen such pressure and such verbal violence during their parliamentary work. It is a huge case.
He also gave a a speech denouncing the tactics of the patent lobby at the meeting of the JURI Committee with Commissioner McCreevy. An English translation is available.