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European Council Approves Software Patents

Law360 (May 18, 2004, 12:00 AM EDT) -- In the face of vocal opposition from activist groups, the European Council has grudgingly approved a proposal to harmonize the way national patent laws deal with software innovations.

At their meeting in Brussels Monday, ministers agreed to harmonize laws concerning "computer-implemented inventions," but pledged to avoid any "drift" toward the U.S. system that allows patenting of business methods.

Monday’s vote removes many of the changes introduced last year by the European Parliament that would have limited the degree to which software programs could be patented....
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