German Bundestag Against Software Patents

As the FFII reported last month, a large majority of the parties in the German Bundestag (Parliament) want to do something about the stinking software patents. That includes the ruling CDU, CSU, and FDP, but also the opposition SPD and Green parties are on board for a draft resolution asking the government to introduce the necessary legislation. This is remarkable. Everybody in sight hates these patents.

Having written a book opposing software patents ten years ago, I am pleased with this development. It’s about time software patents got abolished completely in Germany. Nothing good has ever come from them. As the draft resolution rightly states, having software patents removes the commercial value of copyright protection for computer programs, since every copyright holder always needs to be afraid of some extortionist patent troll coming out of the woods and stopping him from marketing his program.

Now there has been an expert hearing at the Bundestag, and this short article at the Bundestag site reports on it. All the experts hate software patents, as well they should. There was only one exception. One guy representing Siemens thought they have some merit. That makes sense, since software patents help large companies like Siemens restrict the competition from more effective smaller companies. Good for Siemens, but bad for the economy and society at large.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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