Should Software Be Patentable? Discussing the Freedom to Operate Proposal

In the EU, software is mostly protected by copyright, allowing rights holders to take action against infringers without monopolising their product. However, software-related patents are also granted, preventing other software developers from being able to use, reproduce or distribute their own implementation of the software, and thus undermining innovation and competition in the software market. Furthermore, this status quo challenges Europe’s digital sovereignty, as European SMEs find themselves embedded in costly and time-consuming patent disputes, while American companies continue to hold the vast majority of software-related patents effective in the European market.

In this event we discussed a preliminary regulatory proposal from Rasmus Keller, Software Developer, IP Lawyer and Co-chair of Working Group Intellectual Property Rights, indicating a potential avenue to address this problem: eliminating software-related patents.

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