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Obligation to update Software Products in order to prevent Planned Obsolescence

The EU Parliament calls for the introduction of a “reasonable period of use” for software during which software manufacturers are obligated to provide security updates. In a resolution on a longer lifetime for products adopted on July 4, 2017, the EU Parliament proposes measures to protect consumers against software obsolescence. In particular, software manufacturers and software suppliers are to be obligated to greater transparency in the distribution of software.

In the future, manufacturers of operating systems should specify a minimum duration in software contracts for which security updates will be provided. The EU Parliament proposes defining a “reasonable period of use” for software products. These measures are intended to prevent software manufacturers from deliberately shortening their products’ lifetime by ceasing to support them.

The resolution also provides for software manufacturers to ensure downward compatibility of software updates and for updates to be reversible by the user.

Practical tip:

The proposals of the European Parliament are not binding. It remains to be seen whether the EU Commission will be taking up the proposals and initiate an appropriate legislative procedure.


Daniel Meßmer

Dr. Daniel Meßmer


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