This news story reports the EU finally will decide to allow software patents in Europe. But it appears the patents will be limited to software that is attached to specific hardware or can be used to produce new things.
Seriously I think software patents will destroy more economic value than they can protect. Their primary effect is not to protect development investments but to rather limit growth of competitors.
I have an idea for a great user interface enhancement that I am sure will be part of any standard GUI one day. Who is willing to pay the patent fees and share the profit with me if it turns out to become reality?