Well, go there and read this. Apparently :
Brussels, 2 February 2005 – The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (JURI) has decided with a large majority to ask the Commission for a renewed referral of the software patents directive. With only two or three votes against and one abstention, the resolution had overwhelming support from the committee, and all-party backing.
The decision is a powerful statement from MEPs that the current Council text, and the logjam of concern it has caused, is simply not a sustainable way forward. It is now up to the Commission to submit a new, or the same, proposal to the Parliament. Parliament will then hold a new first reading, this time under the guidance of Michel Rocard MEP as rapporteur.
And hopefully, the new proposal will be better. It’s good to see this development. In the current social evolutionary context, patents are merely adding another level of ‘trading rules’ between multinational or otherwise huge corporations while creating barriers to entry to small, innovative teams/individuals/legal entities. I guess there’s still some way to go until free market nonsense and mega-corporate pressure manages to change this situation in the EU, and I certainly hope it doesn’t happen until society is ready to deal with it.
In the end, it is the EU’s ‘failings’ (by British standards, at least) that ’save’ the Union from becoming another socially anachronistic free market hell like the States. But, it is also the EU’s failings that keep the European states lagging behind in economic development terms. With a large chunk of Open Source development happening in Europe a lot is at stake. The ‘era’ of patents will start soon in the U.S. Let’s see where this will lead to, here in Europe.