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Software patents law dodges another rubberstamping

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The directive on Computer Implemented Inventions will not appear on the agenda of the next Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels, further delaying resolution of the bill's tortuous progress.

The directive was set to appear as an A-point item - that is, one that would be voted on without further discussion - at the meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs council, this Thursday. With the bill's main opposition in the council, Poland, having declared that it would support the bill this time, it was virtually certain that it would pass through to its second reading. Parliament would then have to vote with an absolute majority to affect any changes to the text.

An EU spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday, however, that the directive was no longer on the agenda for Thursday's meeting. With the vote delayed again, the fate of the directive rests entirely with the Conference of Presidents (CoP), set to review a request to ask the Commission for a restart of the legislative process, also this Thursday.

JURI, a parliamentary committee on legal affairs, voted, two weeks ago, to ask for the directive to be sent back to square one. If the CoP approves the Parliamentary request, the directive will be sent back to Parliament for another First Reading.

In related news, the FFII and campaign group NoSoftwarePatents.com of the directive will be holding a demonstration in Brussels this Thursday, to protest against the terms of the proposed legislation. ®

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