Computer Programs Protection Under French And European Law

Under French law, computer programs are protected under copyright law, but are not patentable. However, this situation might change in the near future. Indeed, on February 20, 2002, the European Commission has presented a proposal for a Directive on the protection by patents of computer-implemented inventions. The implementation of this Proposal would have an impact on the scope of protection of computer programs under French law, since patent protection is somehow wider than copyright protection.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is the current situation regarding computer programs protection under French law?
What are the advantages of patent protection over copyright protection?
In the actual state of the law, can a computer program be protected by a patent in the European Union?
What are the main features of the European Directive Proposal?


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