Score a victory for Linux developer Red Hat.

European Union lawmakers defeated a controversial bill on software patents Wednesday, a decision that ended what had become one of the biggest legislative battles in the EU for years, NewsFactor reports.

Red Hat was among companies opposed to the legislation.

“The actions of Parliament, and the efforts of our friends at FFII in bringing about this result, have been simply amazing,” said Mark Webbink, deputy general counsel of Red Hat. “The action of Parliament affirms that the scope of patentability in the proposed legislation was too broad, that it is better to have no legislation than bad legislation, and that there is no connection between innovation and software patents. We applaud the efforts of all who have contributed to bring about this successful result.”

Sun Microsystems had also opposed the bill.

“This outcome is a clear victory for open source,” said Simon Phipps, chief open source officer at Sun. “It expresses Parliaments clear desire to provide a balanced, competitive market for software, one that gives equal access to participants of all sizes. This action further sustains the clear mandate to our elected officials to assure that new legislation represents the interests of all, including consumers and the public and not just big industry.”

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