"A study commissioned by the German Ministry of
Economics and Technology has recommended that software patents,
which are legal in the U.S., should not be allowed in Europe.
The experts warned that a high rate of innovation,
interoperability, and the continued development of the open-source
model would be jeopardized if Europe adopted a rule allowing the
widespread patenting of computer programs, the ministry said in a
statement released Thursday.
European Commission officials are expected to unveil soon a
draft law harmonizing software patent regulations within the
European Union, which remain a patchwork of different rules among
the 15 member states. Current E.U. regulations forbid the patenting
of software on a European level, a position fiercely defended by
activists on the continent."