pieterh writes "ZDNet UK has a detailed article on the heating-up of the software patent debate in Europe. A new motion before the European Parliament calls for a harmonised patent court (EPLA) that would be able to enforce software patents across Europe. This comes just 15 months after the EP rejected the infamous Computer Implemented Inventions directive." From the article: "Patents on software are formally disallowed under the European patent system, but are routinely granted by the European patent office, according to critics. They are currently difficult to enforce in many EU member states, something critics say would be changed by the failed software patent directive, and now by the EPLA. Software patents are generally considered to add to the legal costs of large enterprises, as well as creating a hostile legal environment for smaller software businesses and open source projects."