usedSoft wins against Adobe
usedSoft has won a decisive victory in the battle for free trade with used software. In the context of preliminary injunction proceedings at the Cantonal Court in Zug, Switzerland (Az. ES 2010 822), the court rejected a motion by software producer Adobe last week to prohibit the resale of Adobe Software by usedSoft. The court agreed with usedSoft in all essential points. The presiding judge declared that Adobe’s concern in the motion it submitted was “solely about the loss of market shares.” In addition, the court clarified: “From the compelling nature of the principle of exhaustion of rights of ownership, it follows that the holder of the rights (i.e.: Adobe) cannot prohibit the resale of the program copy in terms of copyright after its initial sale.”
“This precedent-setting decision is a victory for the free international software trade,” usedSoft CEO Peter Schneider emphasized after the pronouncement of the judgment. “The judgment is all the more important because usedSoft operates its international business from Switzerland and our global customers can thus enjoy a substantial gain in legal certainty.”
The basis for the used trade with software is the so-called principle of exhaustion of rights. It says that the distribution right of a manufacturer is exhausted as soon as the product is brought on the market for the first time. This principle was extended expressly to software within the European Union on the basis of a EU Directive in 1993 and has been valid in all EU member states as well as in most other countries worldwide.
usedSoft was set up in 2003, and it is a leading European supplier of used software originating from all application fields. Buyers of usedSoft licences are companies as well as software dealers. Customers of usedSoft are, among others, companies such as Edeka, KarstadtQuelle, Neckermann, Rewe, as well as a leading soccer club belonging to the German Soccer League and a number of different Savings Banks. German authorities are more and more using used software as well: Next to the Bavarian State Capital of Munich, the German Federal Social Court in Kassel, the Municipal Administration of Bad Salzuflen and the Data Central Office of Baden-Württemberg, there were more than 100 additional local authorities benefiting from usedSoft licences. The cost-saving benefit when purchasing already used licences ranges between 20 and 50 percent of the sales price.
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