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Poles push patents off EU agenda

European Union has again failed to ratify the software patent directive, after a crucial last-minute intervention.

The European Union has again failed to ratify the software patent directive, after a crucial last-minute intervention from Poland.

An EU Council representative confirmed that the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive will not be adopted Tuesday, as had been planned.

According to sources close to the situation, Wlodzimierz Marcinski, Poland's undersecretary of science and information technology, spoke out at the EU Council meeting and asked that the directive be removed from the agenda.

No one objected to Poland's request, and the chairman removed the item from the agenda.

This last-minute decision to remove the item is likely to please antipatent campaigners who were unhappy that the EU Council was planning to adopt the directive without vote or discussion.

The Polish government spoke out against the proposed directive in November, saying it could not support the text because it was ambiguous and contradictory. Politicians from the Netherlands, Germany and Austria have also publicly spoken out against the directive.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.