EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has told representatives of the Irish technology industry he will not be making a new proposal on the issue of patents.

The European Parliament recently rejected a proposal for an EU Directive on patents, which would have harmonised the patenting regime across the EU.

Speaking at a meeting of ICT Ireland and the Irish Software Association in Dublin, he urged the high tech sector to throw its weight behind the idea of a pan-European patent system called the Community Patent. He said this would allow Europe to catch up on the US in innovation.

The proposals rejected by the parliament had polarised the technology industry, with large firms like Microsoft, Nokia and Siemens saying changes sought by the European Parliament to commission plans would leave products open to copycat versions from China and elsewhere.

Supporters of open-source or free software had welcomed the changes sought by some MEPs to limit what types of inventions can be patented.