[H]omer espoused:
> Short answer: No.
>
> Long answer:
>
> .----
>| Frequently Asked Question: Do software patents exist in the EU?
>|
>| Answer: The problem is that software patents exist in some ways in
>| the EU. The power of patent governance is split between a
>| legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.
>|
>| The legislature (the European Patent Convention) says that software
>| ideas are not patentable.
>|
>| The executive (the European Patent Office) ignores this and
>| approves software patent applications.
>|
>| The judiciary (the national courts) usually declares the EPO's
>| software patents to be invalid whenever there is a court case.
>|
>| So, for the most part, Europeans are safe from software patents.
>| There are very few court cases because the patent holders are
>| afraid their patents will be invalidated.
>|
>| In 2005, after years of work, we blocked an attempt to change the
>| legislation. That change would have made software patents valid.
>|
>| Today, there are attempts being made, such as the EPLA, to remove
>| the national courts from patent governance. The people behind the
>| EPLA want to replace the national courts with a centralised EU
>| court whose judges will be selected and continually reviewed by the
>| EPO.
> `----
>
> http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/node/2547
>
>
> We must continue to fight to ensure this ridiculous American idea of
> software patentability never corrupts European society.
>
> http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com
> http://petition.eurolinux.org
> http://www.eff.org/issues/eff-europe
>


I suppose we should be pleased that the yanks aren't invading with
armies, as they keep doing in the middle-east, however, the threat posed
to our freedom by their awful patent system is huge. It would be good
to start digging into exactly /who/ runs the EPO, what relationships
they have, and so on.

--
| Mark Kent -- mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk |
| Cola faq: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linux/advocacy/faq-and-primer/ |
| Cola trolls: http://colatrolls.blogspot.com/ |
| My (new) blog: http://www.thereisnomagic.org |