Bono and anti-patent campaigner go head-to-head

A campaigner against the European software patent directive has been nominated for a European award, alongside anti-poverty campaigners Bono and Bob Geldof

Florian Mueller, one of the leading campaigners against the European software patent directive, was elevated to the lofty heights inhabited by the frontmen of U2 and the Boom town Rats on Thursday after being nominated for two prestigious European awards.

Mueller has already been hailed as one of most influential people in the intellectual-property world by an IP magazine and is one of the finalists for CNET's Outstanding Contribution to Software Development award, the results of which are due to be announced at a ceremony in London next week.

Mueller, who founded nosoftwarepatents.com, has been nominated for both the EU Campaigner of the Year and the European of the Year award. These awards celebrate those who have most influenced the European agenda over the past 12 months.

Other nominees for the EU Campaigner of the Year award include rock stars Bob Geldof and Bono for their campaign against poverty in Africa and Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has tirelessly campaigned for women's rights in the face of threats from Muslim extremists.

Mueller is not the only software patent critic who has been nominated for an award. Michel Rocard, the European Parliament's rapporteur on the software patent directive, has been nominated for the MEP of the Year award. Rocard was an outspoken opponent to the directive and is thought to have played an instrumental role in causing the rejection of the directive in July.

Anti-patent campaign group the FFII congratulated Mueller and Rocard for their nominations. "I'm extremely proud that Florian Mueller and Michel Rocard have been nominated because they represent countless European citizens who are concerned over software patents. Hopefully many will vote for the two, so that Europe's political leaders fully appreciate the importance of our cause," said Erik Josefsson from the FFII in a statement.

The public can vote online for who they think should win the awards.

The European of the Year awards are organised by weekly newspaper European Voice.  The winners will be announced on 29 November.