Innovation in Germany, Windows of opportunity
Deutsche Bank Research, in June 2004, published the report Innovation in Germany, Windows of opportunity.
Stronger IP protection is not always better. Chances are that patents on software, common practice in the US and on the brink of being legalised in Europe, in fact stifle innovation. Europe could still alter course.
"Opportunity 3", according to pages 6 and 7, say:
...one could be tempted to consider ever stricter IP protection regimes to provide ever more stimuli for innovation.
This conclusion is wrong, however. A prime example is patents on software, which might at first sight be seen as a logical expansion of the classic technology patent. But creating software differs markedly from creating machinery and the like...
Their recommendation to the Germany government on this are:
Measures to take. The German government is among the tentative critics of the EU software patent bill. This position should be bolstered, by (1) putting forward academic evidence and (2) making SMEs’ concerns heard. SMEs are crucial providers of pathbreaking innovations, but would be most adversely affected by patentability. The majority of them is deterred by the costs of patenting themselves, but would have to navigate around software patent portfolios of large corporations.