Software patents in the European Union
Vardar, Mustafa Fuat (2007) Software patents in the European Union. [Thesis]
In recent years, there has been a continuous debate in the protection of the software (or computer implemented innovations) in the European Union. While the protection of the software has been harmonized by a directive in 1991, the different EPO practices and changing perceptions of software companies (especially US based MNC’s) in the protection of software resulted in the Directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions and the draft directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. While the former has been rejected by the European Parliament, the latter is on the stage; it is a follow-up to the much-debated directive [2004/48/EC] on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, called IPRED 1. In addition to these developments, with the positioning of the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) which is proposed by the European Patent Office and aims at solving the jurisdictional problems during the cases against European patents, within the scope of European Union, protection of software has become one of the most disputed issues in the European Union. Opponents and supporters have been lobbying since 2001 and no resolution has been reached yet and it seems that the discussion will take place in the following years.
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