ZDnet reports that the European Council of Ministers has approved the Software Patents Directive. Meanwhile the BBC reports that the Directive has “hit the buffers” and that the plan is “likely to be abandoned”.
Correction: the BBC article refers to a general attempt to harmonise patentl laws, which has indeed failed, but is separate from the Software Patents Directive, which passed.
Update: a copy of the draft Directive is here; does anyone have the final version? Its reference number is 2004/48/EC.