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Despite opposition from open sourcers, the European Parliament, Denmark, Poland and Portugal and support from almost no-one but Bill Gates KBE the European Council of Ministers has approved passage of the software patents bill.

The Computer Implemented Inventions Directive (CIID) was passed by the Council this morning despite objections from Denmark, Poland and Portugal.

The Minister from Luxembourg, who chaired the meeting, said it was adopting the legislation for "institutional reasons", to avoid setting a precedent, according to Florian Mueller of lobby group no software patents.

Mueller said: "we, as the opponents of software patents, don't have to talk too much now about the democratic illegitimacy of this proposal because it's so obvious. Even the chairman of today's meeting conceded it."

To proceed further the legislation must now pass the European Parliament. Hungary, Lativia, the Netherlands, Poland and Cyprus have all made unilateral declarations against the proposed law.®

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