European Industry Ministers Set To OK Software Patents

Law360, New York (May 17, 2004, 12:00 AM EDT) -- European industry ministers may approve a proposal to extend patent protection to software at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, Irish government sources say.

The highly controversial measure would grant protection for inventions combining software and machinery, such as code that reduces battery consumption on mobile phones or measures humidity in washing machines, Sinead Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Irish government, told local media. Ireland holds the current presidency of the European Union, a rotating position.

The Irish Presidency has reportedly managed to secure a qualified...
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