Summary: Paper in Germany squashes patents on software
THE bully from Redmond has been lobbying for software patents in Europe and at one point it managed to legitimise its FAT patent in Germany. In a discussion against software patents in Germany we find some encouraging news (text in German, here is an English translation).
This was highlighted by the FFII’s mailing lists and a response was posted by a patent lawyer from Germany, who unhappily says:
On an Official blog website blogfraktion.de of the parliamentary group of the Christian Democratic Union / Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) in the German Bundestag I recently stumbled upon a green paper concerning copyright in the digital society (Diskussionspapier der CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion zum Urheberrecht in der digitalen Gesellschaft) presented by Deputy Party Whips Mr Michael Kretschmer and Mr Günter Krings. While the main topic of this text, of course, is directed to copyright issues, we also can find a single paragraph devoted to so-called software patents or, more technically, patents on computer-implemented (respectively implementable) inventions as follows…
The first sentence of this statement asserting that computer programs are rightly protected by copyright is one of the few snippets of information from the text as quoted above which is by and large correct insofar historically the Council Directive 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer programs had stipulated in its Article 1 that Member States shall protect computer programs, by copyright, as literary works within the meaning of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. However, the term “rightly” (“richtigerweise” in German) might, at least for German ears, be construed like suggesting that software protection by copyright is the only (proper and legitimate) way to define software-related Intellectual Property.
“This is hyprocrisy,” writes Benjamin Henrion, “since Germany is pushing hard for a central patent court.” He wrote about it in in German as well. Needless to say, the lawyers want patents on everything. But Germany seems to be keeping distinct from the USPTO, for now. █