The Government must understand the strategic importance for French industry of protection of software and participate in the adoption of the European Directive on this subject, according to a statement released on October 22 by intellectual property professionals, concerned at France's delay in this area. Addressing a press conference in Paris on October 22, Patrice Vidon, President of the CNCPI (Compagnie nationale des conseils en Propriete industrielle), which represents France's 600 patent advisors, suggested that "France, bound up in paralysing ideological debates, remains incredibly hesitant regarding the scope offered to enterprises through the patenting of their software". Following declarations by Christian Pierret, Industry Minister under the precious Government, who opposed a proposal for a European Directive on the protection of software, the new French administration has still to outline its position on the issue. "With the European Commission indicating that it will publish its Directive aiming to harmonise practices in the various Member States in the face of American activism on patents, France's public authorities would do well to rally round", according to Mr Vidon.

Industrial property advisors participating in the conference explained how French enterprises "should make greater use of the panoply of rights available to them, and understand that the decision to take out a patent must be taken...

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