"SAS is a software company - the largest privately owned one in the world, it claims. Software patent protection is hard to get in Europe, but it is not impossible. To rule it out on the basis of expense is ridiculous. First of all because however much it costs to obtain a patent via the EPO, or national patent offices in Europe, that amount is insignificant when compared to the potential loss of market share a decent patent could guard against. As for the point about enforcement, it is just not true. Even in Europe's most expensive jurisdiction, the UK, it is very unlikely to cost more than £1 million ($1.5 million) to litigate a case."