Towards a New Instrument of Protection for Software in the EU? Learning the Lessons from the Harmonization Failure of Software Patentability

published in: G. Ghidini and E. Arezzo (eds), "Biotechnology and Software Patent Law: A Comparative Review on New Developments", Cheltenham, UK/ Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar, 2011, p. 153.

Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property & Competition Law Research Paper No. 11-01

38 Pages Posted: 1 May 2011 Last revised: 19 Jan 2016

See all articles by Reto Hilty

Reto Hilty

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; University of Zurich; Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Christophe Geiger

Université de Strasbourg - CEIPI

Date Written: January 25, 2011

Abstract

While the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected in 2005 the directive proposal on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, the subject remains very controversial, particularly due to the fact that the European Patent Office has maintained its practice of granting patents on software matters. Therefore, a large number of questions are still pending. This article asks in a general manner and without any prepossession to what extent software can be patented in the actual state of the law. Within the scope of a socio-economic analysis, it then deals with the question of whether patent law is really the appropriate judicial instrument or if other tools (existing or to be created) must be taken into consideration.

Keywords: Protection of Software, Exclusion from Patentability, Definition of an Invention, Sui-Generis Right, European Patent Convention, Functions of Patent Law, Open Source, Bilski decision

Suggested Citation

Hilty, Reto and Geiger, Christophe, Towards a New Instrument of Protection for Software in the EU? Learning the Lessons from the Harmonization Failure of Software Patentability (January 25, 2011). published in: G. Ghidini and E. Arezzo (eds), "Biotechnology and Software Patent Law: A Comparative Review on New Developments", Cheltenham, UK/ Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar, 2011, p. 153.; Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property & Competition Law Research Paper No. 11-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1746846

Reto Hilty

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de

University of Zurich

Rämistrasse 74/7
Zürich, CH-8001
Switzerland

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Munich, 80539
Germany

Christophe Geiger (Contact Author)

Université de Strasbourg - CEIPI ( email )

11 rue du Maréchal Juin
BP 68
Strasbourg, 67046
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.ceipi.edu

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