The vote was 648 votes against, 14 in favor, with 18 abstentions.
European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has stated "...if the parliament was to reject the directive then I would not be putting another proposal on the table."
From the Washington Post, in "E.U. Parliament Rejects Software-Patent Law":
...lawmakers said the measure would stifle enterprise and did not promote innovation, and that human knowledge can't be patented. The move kills the legislation since the E.U. head office, which had drafted it, does not plan a new version.One view of the issue, from Why software patents are bad for Java developers:
At the moment, a Java developer can start coding and produce something interesting of commercial value. The start up costs are minimal. At the current rate of issuing software patents in the US, it won't be long before a Java developer has to do legal searches and negotiate patent licenses prior to distributing even the most basic application.Should the Java developer community be campaigning against US software patents? What are the compelling reasons to retain software patent laws? Is there a way to have software patents that are truly protective and not abusive?
Software is already well protected through copyright (and trademarks) which cost nothing and are pretty much automatic. If software patents become standard practice, then the cost-of-entry to the Java market will increase substantially.
Software patents can and will in the future be used to create or protect monopolies. Just wait until Windows market share is threatened and watch Microsoft's army of lawyers claim a few hundred patent violations. Preventing competition will become perfectly legal.