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Open source vendors unfairly excluded from government contracts

Computing - European public sector IT contracts are unfairly favouring large suppliers such as Microsoft by ignoring the rules governing the use of trademarks in tender requests, according to a new report.

Campaign group OpenForum Europe has analysed more than 400 IT-related tender notices posted to the Official Journal of the EU between February and March 2010.

It found that more than one in 10 notices included the use of trademarks within the technical specifications, thereby restricting the firms that could bid for the work.

Where tenders were found to include trademarks, the overwhelming majority mentioned ones belonging to Microsoft.

Bertrand Diard, chief executive of open-source data management vendor Talend, called on the UK government to enforce best practice and to encourage fair competition for UK public sector contracts.