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Intellectual Property Rights, Technological Protection Measures, Software, European Union, Copyright, Right to Repair, Circumvention, EU Competition Law, Compulsory Licensing, Secondary Market, John Deere Case Study


This analysis examines the impact of software technological protection measures (“TPMs”) in the European Union which inhibit the repair and maintenance of products. Using John Deere tractors as a case study, this analysis addresses the growing number of products which incorporate computerisation and TPMprotected software into their design and function. In utilising software integration and TPMs, many product designs now allow manufacturers to retain considerable control over the manner of repair and choice of technician. In response, consumers and lawmakers are calling for legal reforms to make self-repair and servicing easier. Both the competition law and moral implications of this residual control held by manufacturers are examined in this analysis. The foregoing raises the question: what are the impediments to establishing a secondary market for repair of products which utilise software TPMs, and what are the implications of those impediments?


© 2020 Anthony D. Rosborough

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