Transfer Pricing Associates

German Parliament against granting software patents

post Wednesday May 1, 2013


The German Parliament has recently taken a new position that clarifies their opinions on granting software patents. In a recent joint motion from the German Parliament, it is clear that the members of parliament are staunchly against the growing number of software and other similar patents that have been granted. The resolution, titled “Secure Competition and Innovation in the software development,” directs the rest of the German government to begin working that software is strictly protected by copyrights and that they are limiting the other ways that software is protected. The directive is targeted at the additional patent protection that has been provided recently.

One of many potential reasons that the parliament made this joint resolution is to protect the market of open-source development in the software industry. There has been considerable damage already done by the granting of too many patents. This directive is very similar in nature to a prior motion from 2005. Almost ten years ago the parliament was expressing concern and disapproval over the behavior and performance of its patent offices. The previous resolution challenged the patent office to stay within the guidelines of the World Trade Organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), various German copyright laws and the EU Directive 91/250. Each of these guidelines established that patents cannot be granted for software. In spite of the precedent that had been recognized, the condition of patent granting and software development had grown much worse and the patent office continued with its operations as usual.  It is reported that the patent office had granted over 10,000 new patents since the 2005 directive.

The German government is now in a position where it must assess the operations of the patent office carefully while working to create a solution that will benefit the software market. The motion claims that small and medium-sized software developers are harmed by this and there are other supporters of this claim. How the German patent offices proceed will be a topic to pay close attention to.


Image Source: Free Digital Photos


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