John Pinner, owner of Birmingham-based software company Clockwork Software Systems, has been at the centre of a David and Goliath struggle which pitched smaller software developers against the might of the European Union.
It ended in victory when the Directive on the Patentability of Computer Implemented Inventions was rejected by an overwhelming majority of MEPs.
As concerned members of the software developer community, John and colleague David Chan worked with businesses and organisations throughout the UK and in Europe to oppose the Directive, which would have swept away national case law and brought in a restrictive USstyle patent system where SMEs selling their own original work could be sued by large companies claiming a monopoly on an abstract idea.
The Directive was supported by a number of large businesses, including Nokia, Microsoft and Siemens, who argued that it was needed to protect their R&D efforts when developing new products.
However, more than 1,700 companies throughout the EC joined together to successfully oppose it.
Opponents argued that the directive would seriously damage software innovation, as it would be impossible to write novel software without risking infringing on unknown patented ideas.
This would not pose a particular problem to the largest companies, who have the resources to counter-sue and negotiate cross- licensing agreements.
However, the effect on small companies would be severe, in effect freezing them out of software development except as clients of the large companies, and seriously hampering innovation.
Software patents, as proposed in the directive, would be anti-Intellectual Property, because companies would be inhibited from using and profiting from their original ideas, merely because someone else might have had the same idea independently and patented it.
Convinced by the reasoned arguments of the directive's opponents, 648 MEPs from across the political spectrum voted to abandon the proposed bill earlier this month, with a mere 14 voting for it.
Commenting on the result, Mr Pinner said: "I am pleased to see that our efforts here in the UK and by many others in Europe who share our opposition, have proved effective in blocking this seriously flawed directive, which would have put obstacles in the path of small, innovative software developers.
"It is a vindication of the democratic process and proves that politicians really do act decisively if you can persuade them that what you are lobbying for makes sound sense."
Set up in 1987, Clockwork Software Systems develops business solutions for companies of all sizes, with training and systems integration also constituting an important part of the business.
The company designs and develops software solutions that can be easily integrated with existing applications.
Clockwork's solutions run on Linux, Windows and Unix and can be integrated with both open and proprietary software running on most other platforms.