National and international “software law” comprises various legal issues concerning classification, design and implementation. “Software law” comprises agreements on
- software development,
- software licensing, and
- software maintenance.
Software-related agreements are principally often “attributed” to traditional areas of law such as contractual law, licensing law or leasing law. The courts hold this view as well. This basic classification has continuously been adjusted in detail by the Supreme Court to fit the peculiarities of the software industry, a process which has not yet been completed.
Apart from purely contractual components, the German copyright law (based on EU directives) also plays a substantial role, especially such key words and key concepts as labour conditions for software engineers, decompiling, databanks, etc.
Moreover, since software is easily developed and distributed, accompanying protective measures have to be considered, which are usually related to patent and trademark law. Therefore, although software as such is not eligible for patent protection (this is so in Germany and in Europe, but not in the USA), other protective rights can be examined and granted by respective offices.