EU Parliament Reject Software Patents

Despite pressure from high-tech companies such as Microsoft, the European Parliament has unanimously rejected legislation that would allow software to be patented. If the request is approved by the European Commission, the proposal will be sent back to the EU for initial review, effectively restarting the legislative process.

The software patent bill has met with objection from the start. Polish representatives twice rejected its adoption, while Spain and the Netherlands have supported a restart. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Brussels Thursday to convince European lawmakers to drop the proposal entirely. If the European Commission withdraws the bill, it cannot be reintroduced for two years.

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