After a long period of debate, the European Parliament has finally rejected the software patents directive. July, 6, 2005 is a great day for European democracy, SMEs and software developers all over Europe.
The EP has decided to reject the directive on computer implemented inventions, aka the software patents directive. The parliament rejected the directive with 648 votes to 14 with 18 abstentions, this out of a total of 732 MEPs.
The overwhelming majority came after the EPP in last minute after a speech by Michel Rocard (PSE); the speech changed the EPP MEPs to reject the directive the directive.
Although, while a directive is needed that clearly limits the patentability of software, it is better with no text at all than a bad text; and it would also be better to address this issue in a full Union based patent system that replaced all the national patents.