Just when things were looking bleak, Poland's undersecretary of science and information, Wlodzimierz Marcinski stepped in and saved the day.
Despite widespread opposition, and a lack of majority support, the EU Council was set to push through the controversial Computer Implemented Inventions Directive at a meeting of the Agricultural und Fishery Council. As P.J. of Groklaw put it, the pro-patent forces are "terrified of an honest vote."
This is good news, for now, but the patent directive is likely to resurface in 2005. This time, however, it looks as though the cards are stacked a little more fairly and the European Union may be able to avoid the same software patent quagmire that is hampering the U.S.