*Eolas* may just be the tip of the iceburg

PETITION:: http://noepatents.org/index_html?LANG=en

…this nonsense could grow out of control. Once a precedant takes hold, it’s hard to kill…

extending to the rediculous -
Imagine if the guy who first thought up the idea of a ‘window-crank’ to roll down your window in the car had received a patent for it ? … etc., etc …

from knopper.net::

“Software-Patents” in Europe: The threat prevails

[size=1]Soon the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will again decide about the legalisation and adoption of so-called “software patents” in Europe, which are already used by large companies in other countries to put competitors out of business. This can lead to the termination of many software projects such as KNOPPIX, at least within Europe, because the holders of the over 30,000 already granted “software patents” (currently without a legal foundation) can claim exclusive rights and collect license fees for trivial things like “progress bars”, “mouseclicks on online order forms”, “scrolling within a window” and similar. That way, software developers will have to pay the “software-patentholders” for using these features, even in their own, completely self-developed applications, which can completely stall the development of innovative software for small and medium companies. Apart from this, the expense for patent inquiries and legal assistence is high, for even trying to find out if the self-developed software is possibly violating “software-patents”, if you want to continue to market your software. Contrary to real patents, “software-patents” are, in the draft proposed by the commission, monopolization of business ideas and methods, even without any tangible technical implementation.[/size]

Check here for a lot of info and links,
an online info portal to (hopefully) squash it::