The Software Patent Debate
University of Sussex
Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 196-206, 2006
The recent demise of the proposed Directive on Computer-Implemented Inventions has overshadowed its complex background and the interplay of conflicting interests that it brought into play. Copyright (which already protects all software) and patent law (which protects much software in the United States but relatively little elsewhere) both have their strengths and weaknesses as legal rights. Little evidence has, however, been adduced as to the incentive effect of either of these legal regimes. The decision to withdraw the proposed Directive does not mean that the issues addressed in it and the interests affected by it have been resolved. Real debate has merely been deferred and it is important to recognize them clearly before the debate is resumed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: software patents, computer implemented inventions, European directive
JEL Classification: K19
Date posted: February 28, 2006