FlorianMueller writes "Long gone are the times when Europe was that bastion of resistance against software patents and patents on such things as file systems were ruled invalid. In a decision published today, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany upheld a patent on the automatic generation of structured documents (such as XML/HTML) in a client-server setting. The ruling lays out general principles that go beyond the patent at stake: they tear down all barriers to software patentability in the largest EU member state, even though a European patent treaty has been adopted that was intended to exclude software from the scope of patentable subject matter. EU patent examiners recently warned against a drift toward software patents. Software patent critics in Europe fear this will spark more litigation on their continent and increasingly call for defensive measures."