reu­sch­law White Paper: Update Requi­re­ments ari­sing from Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty in Civil and Public Law


New pro­vi­si­ons of the Civil Code have been in effect sin­ce 1 Janu­a­ry 2022 with respect to con­tracts of sale, inclu­ding a gene­ral obli­ga­ti­on for sel­lers of digi­tal pro­ducts and goods with digi­tal ele­ments wit­hin the frame­work of B2C con­trac­tu­al rela­ti­ons­hips to pro­vi­de (soft­ware) updates for a cer­tain peri­od of time. In light of the fact that pro­ducts are beco­m­ing incre­a­singly digi­ti­zed, the­se new pro­vi­si­ons rai­se the ques­ti­on as to the extent to which addi­tio­nal update requi­re­ments exist for manu­fac­tu­rers, retailers, sel­lers, etc. This White Paper will pro­vi­de an over­view of exis­ting and poten­ti­al future update requi­re­ments in this regard.

Con­tract Law

The pro­vi­si­ons begin­ning with § 327e and § 475b of the Civil Code were enac­ted in order to imple­ment Direc­ti­ve (EU 2019/770) on cer­tain aspects con­cer­ning con­tracts for the sup­ply of digi­tal con­tent and digi­tal ser­vices (the Digi­tal Con­tent Direc­ti­ve (“DCD”)) (as we repor­ted) and Direc­ti­ve (EU 2019/771) on cer­tain aspects con­cer­ning con­tracts for the sale of goods (the Sale of Goods Direc­ti­ve (the “SGD”)) (as we repor­ted) into Ger­man law, and the­se new pro­vi­si­ons have been in effect sin­ce Janu­a­ry of this year. The abo­ve sta­tu­tes rela­te to the con­for­mance of digi­tal pro­ducts (§ 327e of the Civil Code and sub­se­quent Sec­tions) and goods with digi­tal ele­ments (§ 475b of the Civil Code and sub­se­quent Sec­tions) to B2C con­tracts. Under the­se new pro­vi­si­ons, the afo­re­men­tio­ned pro­duct groups con­form to the con­tract if they meet cer­tain sub­jec­ti­ve and objec­ti­ve requi­re­ments. The sub­jec­ti­ve requi­re­ments rela­te to com­pli­an­ce with any con­trac­tual­ly sti­pu­la­ted update requi­re­ments, but the uni­que aspect is the objec­ti­ve requi­re­ments: the entre­pre­neur is requi­red to ensu­re that the con­su­mer is pro­vi­ded with the updates which are necessa­ry in order to main­tain con­for­mi­ty with the con­tract. The peri­od in which updates are to be pro­vi­ded gene­ral­ly depends on the expec­ta­ti­ons of a rea­son­ab­le con­su­mer, except in cases whe­re the con­tract pro­vi­des for con­ti­nuous sup­ply of the pro­duct, in which case the agreed-upon peri­od app­lies (alt­hough this peri­od must be at least two years in cases invol­ving goods with digi­tal ele­ments). With the enact­ment of this pro­vi­si­on con­cer­ning objec­ti­ve requi­re­ments, a gene­ral obli­ga­ti­on now exists for sel­lers to pro­vi­de updates for cer­tain pro­duct groups in B2C con­tracts. At the same time, the sel­ler is also requi­red to noti­fy con­su­mers of all necessa­ry updates in the­se cases.

Gene­ral Pro­duct Safe­ty Law and Mar­ket Surveillance

Pro­vi­si­ons of gene­ral pro­duct safe­ty law can be found in Direc­ti­ve (2001/95/EC) on gene­ral pro­duct safe­ty (the Pro­duct Safe­ty Direc­ti­ve (“PSD”)) (only in Ger­man) and, at the natio­nal level, in the Pro­duct Safe­ty Act (“PSA”). Accord­ing to the cur­r­ent­ly pre­vai­ling view, the abo­ve sta­tu­tes app­ly at the very least to soft­ware which is loca­ted in a data sto­rage medi­um or which is inte­gra­ted (“embed­ded”) into a phy­si­cal pro­duct, but the­se sta­tu­tes do not inclu­de any express obli­ga­ti­ons to pro­vi­de updates. The PSD is cur­r­ent­ly being revi­sed at the level of Euro­pean law (as we repor­ted). While the pro­po­sal publis­hed by the Euro­pean Com­mis­si­on (“EU Com­mis­si­on”) for a Regu­la­ti­on on gene­ral pro­duct safe­ty (COM(2021) 346 final) (“draft GPSR”) does not express­ly pro­vi­de for a gene­ral obli­ga­ti­on to pro­vi­de updates, it does sta­te that, in the event of a recall, the respon­si­ble eco­no­mic ope­ra­tor is requi­red to offer effec­ti­ve, cost-free and time­ly reme­di­es, which may inclu­de repairs, repla­ce­ments and refunds.

In case of self-repair by the con­su­mer, the eco­no­mic ope­ra­tor is requi­red to pro­vi­de soft­ware updates free of char­ge. In other words, the draft GPSR estab­lis­hes a future obli­ga­ti­on for respon­si­ble eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors to pro­vi­de updates in cases such as the­se. It should also be kept in mind that the scope of the draft GPSR is likely to be exten­ded to inclu­de all soft­ware products.

Accord­ing to the publis­hed amend­ments to the draft GPSR (PDF) by the Euro­pean Parliament’s Com­mit­tee on the Inter­nal Mar­ket and Con­su­mer Pro­tec­tion (“IMCO”), the term “pro­duct” is to be defi­ned as  any item, inter­con­nec­ted or not to other items (of phy­si­cal, digi­tal or mixed natu­re), sup­plied or made avail­ab­le. More recent­ly, a com­pro­mi­se pro­po­sal (PDF) from the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Uni­on defi­ned a “pro­duct” as any item of phy­si­cal, digi­tal or mixed natu­re, so that the afo­re­men­tio­ned obli­ga­ti­on to pro­vi­de updates would app­ly to manu­fac­tu­rers, retailers, importers, et. of stand-alone soft­ware as well.

Wit­hin the sphe­re of mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce, an obli­ga­ti­on to pro­vi­de updates may be estab­lis­hed in any indi­vi­du­al case by order of the aut­ho­ri­ties. With the imple­men­ta­ti­on of Regu­la­ti­on (EU 2019/1020) on mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce and com­pli­an­ce of pro­ducts (the Mar­ket Sur­veil­lan­ce Regu­la­ti­on (“MSR”)) (as we repor­ted), which has been in effect sin­ce 16 July 2021, through the enact­ment of a natio­nal Mar­ket Sur­veil­lan­ce Act (“MSA”) and asso­cia­ted revi­si­on of the PSA, the pro­vi­si­ons rela­ting to mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce were trans­fer­red from the Pro­duct Safe­ty Act, as form­er­ly amen­ded, to the Mar­ket Sur­veil­lan­ce Act. The MSA spe­ci­fies a num­ber of powers which are avail­ab­le to the mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce aut­ho­ri­ties, with refe­rence to the MSR. Among them is the power to requi­re eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors to take appro­pria­te action to res­to­re pro­duct safe­ty. The­re­fo­re, if a soft­ware pro­duct were unsafe in any indi­vi­du­al case, the mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce aut­ho­ri­ties would be able to order the eco­no­mic ope­ra­tor to pro­vi­de updates, as an appro­pria­te action to res­to­re pro­duct safe­ty. An obli­ga­ti­on to pro­vi­de updates may also ari­se as the indi­rect result of a recall order: by orde­ring the recall of an unsafe soft­ware pro­duct, an aut­ho­ri­ty could indi­rect­ly requi­re the eco­no­mic ope­ra­tor to over­haul the pro­duct and to update it if necessa­ry. Accord­in­gly, any update requi­re­ments from the sphe­re of mar­ket sur­veil­lan­ce do not exist as gene­ral obli­ga­ti­ons, but rather ari­se depen­ding on the cir­cum­s­tan­ces of each indi­vi­du­al case.

The AI Regulation

In April 2021, the EU Com­mis­si­on publis­hed a pro­po­sal for a Regu­la­ti­on lay­ing down har­mo­ni­zed rules on arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) (COM(2021) 206 final) (“draft AIR) (as we repor­ted). The draft Regu­la­ti­on con­tains pro­vi­si­ons which are desi­gned to ensu­re a func­tio­n­ing inter­nal mar­ket for AI, as well as ones which are desi­gned to address the poten­ti­al risks posed by AI. While the draft Regu­la­ti­on does not express­ly estab­lish a gene­ral obli­ga­ti­on for pro­vi­ders of AI sys­tems to pro­vi­de spe­ci­fic updates, the need for con­ti­nuous updates is evi­dent from the over­all con­text of the Regulation’s pro­vi­si­ons. In par­ti­cu­lar, rou­ti­ne updates would be requi­red wit­hin the frame­work of the risk manage­ment sys­tem, which is descri­bed as a “con­ti­nuous ite­ra­ti­ve pro­cess.” Updates are also men­tio­ned as poten­ti­al­ly necessa­ry main­ten­an­ce and sup­port mea­su­res, if only wit­hin the frame­work of the pro­vi­si­ons gover­ning noti­fi­ca­ti­on requi­re­ments. The same app­lies for the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of tech­ni­cal docu­men­ta­ti­on, which must inclu­de not only the soft­ware ver­si­on but also infor­ma­ti­on about any requi­re­ments with regard to soft­ware updates.

A simi­lar approach can also be found in the Regu­la­ti­on (EU 2017/745) on medi­cal devices (the Medi­cal Devices Regu­la­ti­on (“MDR”)), under which risk manage­ment repres­ents a con­ti­nuous ite­ra­ti­ve pro­cess throughout the ent­i­re life cycle of the device and the princi­ples of the soft­ware life cycle are to be obser­ved in the manu­fac­tu­re of safe medi­cal devices.

Machine­ry Pro­ducts Regulation

Direc­ti­ve (2006/42/EC) on machine­ry (the Machine­ry Direc­ti­ve), which is cur­r­ent­ly in effect, and which deals with the requi­re­ments for safe machine­ry, is cur­r­ent­ly being revi­sed by the EU Com­mis­si­on. To this end, the EU Com­mis­si­on publis­hed a pro­po­sal for a Regu­la­ti­on on Machine­ry Pro­ducts (COM(2021) 202 final) (“draft Machine­ry Pro­ducts Regu­la­ti­on”) (as we repor­ted), which appeared simul­ta­ne­ous­ly with the draft AI Regu­la­ti­on in April 2021. Accord­ing to the EU Commission’s Explana­to­ry Memo­ran­dum, this pro­po­sal is inten­ded to address “the new risks stem­ming from digi­tal emer­ging technologies.”

In par­ti­cu­lar, the pro­po­sal is inten­ded to address new risks asso­cia­ted with the uploading of soft­ware onto a pro­duct, so that updates of soft­ware which is instal­led in a machine­ry pro­duct are taken into account in risk assess­ments. Par­ti­cu­lar­ly with respect to the risks asso­cia­ted with uploading updates, the pro­po­sal inclu­des pro­vi­si­ons rela­ting to “sub­stan­ti­al modi­fi­ca­ti­ons,” which refer to (digi­tal) chan­ges to machine­ry pro­ducts after they are pla­ced on the mar­ket or put in ser­vice which could not be fore­se­en by the manu­fac­tu­rer, wher­eby the chan­ges must be so sub­stan­ti­al that the pro­duct can no lon­ger com­ply with the app­li­ca­ble health and safe­ty requi­re­ments. In the­se cases, the per­son who car­ri­es out the sub­stan­ti­al modi­fi­ca­ti­on takes on the obli­ga­ti­ons which ori­gi­nal­ly app­lied to the manu­fac­tu­rer. While this chan­ge does not requi­re eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors to pro­vi­de updates, it does estab­lish sepa­ra­te obli­ga­ti­ons in the event that an update takes place.

Eco-design Direc­ti­ve

Direc­ti­ve (2009/125/EC) estab­li­shing a frame­work for the set­ting of eco-design requi­re­ments for energy-related pro­ducts (the Eco-design Direc­ti­ve)  aut­ho­ri­zes the EU Com­mis­si­on to adopt imple­men­ting mea­su­res defi­ning bin­ding requi­re­ments for cer­tain pro­duct groups. The EU Com­mis­si­on has exer­cis­ed this aut­ho­ri­ty, issuing regu­la­ti­ons defi­ning eco-design requi­re­ments for ten pro­duct groups so far,  inclu­ding ref­ri­gera­ting app­li­an­ces, house­hold washing machi­nes and washer-drivers, house­hold dish­wa­s­hers and elec­tro­nic dis­plays. The­se imple­men­ting regu­la­ti­ons are desi­gned to ensu­re pro­duct dura­bi­li­ty and con­tain pro­vi­si­ons rela­ting to pro­duct repair and main­ten­an­ce. They inclu­de e.g. obli­ga­ti­ons to ensu­re that the pro­ducts are easy to repair, an obli­ga­ti­on to pro­vi­de repair and main­ten­an­ce infor­ma­ti­on and an obli­ga­ti­on to pro­vi­de spa­re parts and make them avail­ab­le for a cer­tain peri­od of time (seven to ten years). Given the obli­ga­ti­on to pro­vi­de spa­re parts, a duty to pro­vi­de updates the­re­fo­re exists for the abo­ve pro­duct groups to the extent that they are soft­ware pro­ducts which need to be repai­red and/or updated in any indi­vi­du­al case.

The Eco-design Direc­ti­ve is cur­r­ent­ly being revi­sed by the EU Com­mis­si­on. As part of the Euro­pean Green Deal, the EU Com­mis­si­on has publis­hed a pro­po­sal (COM(2022) 142 final) (PDF) for a Regu­la­ti­on estab­li­shing a frame­work for set­ting eco-design requi­re­ments for sus­tainab­le pro­ducts (the Eco-Design Regu­la­ti­on). At the moment, the pro­po­sal does not extend the scope of the Eco-Design Direc­ti­ve to such an extent as to estab­lish a gene­ral obli­ga­ti­on for respon­si­ble eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors to pro­vi­de updates. Howe­ver, it inclu­des express requi­re­ments for soft­ware and firm­ware updates, which may only be imple­men­ted if they do not adver­se­ly affect the product’s performance.

Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Law

Wit­hin the frame­work of pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law, it is necessa­ry to dis­tin­guish bet­ween pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law in the nar­row sen­se and pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law in the broa­der sense.

Pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law in the nar­row sen­se is defi­ned by the pro­vi­si­ons of Direc­ti­ve (85/374/EEC) on the appro­xi­ma­ti­on of the laws, regu­la­ti­ons and admi­nis­tra­ti­ve pro­vi­si­ons of the Mem­ber Sta­tes con­cer­ning lia­bi­li­ty for defec­ti­ve pro­ducts (the Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Direc­ti­ve) and at the natio­nal level by the Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Act (“PLA”) and obli­ga­tes manu­fac­tu­rers to place only defect-free pro­ducts on the mar­ket. As part of this obli­ga­ti­on, manu­fac­tu­rers are liable regard­less of fault for dama­ges which ari­se due to defec­ti­ve pro­ducts. Becau­se manu­fac­tu­rers are liable regard­less of fault, the­re is no fur­ther obli­ga­ti­on for manu­fac­tu­rers to con­duct pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce for pro­ducts which have been pla­ced on the mar­ket. In the absence of such a duty for manu­fac­tu­rers to con­duct pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce, neit­her the Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Direc­ti­ve nor the Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Act requi­re manu­fac­tu­rers to pro­vi­de updates after their pro­ducts have been pla­ced on the mar­ket, regard­less of the ques­ti­on as to whe­ther the pro­vi­si­ons of pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law app­ly to (stand-alone) soft­ware (as we repor­ted). The Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Direc­ti­ve is cur­r­ent­ly being revi­sed by the EU Com­mis­si­on with regard to its vali­di­ty and effec­ti­ve­ness in the pre­sent day. To this end, the EU Com­mis­si­on recent­ly con­duc­ted a con­sul­ta­ti­on in order to adapt the Directive’s lia­bi­li­ty rules to the digi­tal age and to account for deve­lo­p­ments in the field of AI. An actu­al draft of the revi­sed Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Direc­ti­ve is not yet avail­ab­le, but given the princip­le men­tio­ned abo­ve, the absence of a pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce obli­ga­ti­on, obli­ga­ti­ons to pro­vi­de updates from the stand­point of pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law are not to be expected.

In pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law in the broa­der sen­se, a dif­fe­rent situa­ti­on app­lies: under the hea­ding of “producer’s lia­bi­li­ty,” § 823 of the Ger­man Civil Code estab­lis­hes lia­bi­li­ty for the bre­ach of “duties to safe­guard traf­fic.” Duties to safe­guard traf­fic con­form to the requi­re­ments for defect-free pro­ducts in accordance with the Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Act with one important addi­ti­on: a pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce obli­ga­ti­on. Unli­ke in cases gover­ned by the Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Act, manu­fac­tu­rers sub­ject to producer’s lia­bi­li­ty are requi­red to con­ti­nue moni­to­ring their pro­ducts after they are pla­ced on the mar­ket to ensu­re that they are safe and defect-free, and to imple­ment appro­pria­te reme­di­es if necessa­ry. This addi­ti­on is foun­ded in the fun­da­men­tal natu­re of producer’s lia­bi­li­ty which, unli­ke lia­bi­li­ty in accordance with the Pro­duct Lia­bi­li­ty Act, app­lies only if the pro­du­cer is at fault. Accord­in­gly, a duty to pro­vi­de updates (for phy­si­cal, embed­ded and stand-alone soft­ware ali­ke) may exist wit­hin the frame­work of producer’s lia­bi­li­ty, and fol­lowing from the pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce obli­ga­ti­on, pro­vi­ded that the updates repre­sent an appro­pria­te reme­dy in any spe­ci­fic case. This is par­ti­cu­lar­ly the case if secu­ri­ty vul­nera­bi­li­ties are found, or if the­re is a thre­at of cyber­at­tacks, and cer­tain updates offer a simp­le way of pre­ven­ting or at least mini­mi­zing the­se risks.

Update Obli­ga­ti­ons through the Back Door: Cur­rent Sta­te of the Art

Even though gene­ral update obli­ga­ti­ons are not express­ly pro­vi­ded for in gene­ral pro­duct safe­ty law or in pro­duct safe­ty regu­la­ti­ons for spe­ci­fic pro­duct groups, the­re is still a pos­si­bi­li­ty of intro­du­cing update obli­ga­ti­ons for eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors through the back door. In both gene­ral pro­duct safe­ty law and pro­duct safe­ty regu­la­ti­ons for spe­ci­fic pro­duct groups, the ques­ti­on as to the necessa­ry degree of pro­duct safe­ty is deter­mi­ned in each case by the sta­te of the art. Sin­ce the pro­vi­si­ons of pro­duct safe­ty law requi­re eco­no­mic ope­ra­tors not only to place only safe pro­ducts on the mar­ket but also to con­ti­nuous­ly ensu­re that their pro­ducts on the mar­ket are safe and to main­tain the sup­ply of safe pro­ducts, at least for the dura­ti­on of the product’s ordi­na­ry life cycle, they are also requi­red to account for pos­si­ble chan­ges in safe­ty requi­re­ments con­sis­tent with the cur­rent sta­te of the art. In this way, chan­ges in the tech­ni­cal regu­la­ti­ons which form the basis for the sta­te of the art may cau­se update obli­ga­ti­ons to be intro­du­ced through the back door. The same app­lies for com­pli­an­ce with the pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce obli­ga­ti­on wit­hin the frame­work of producer’s lia­bi­li­ty in civil law. In this case as well, requi­re­ments for defect-free pro­ducts may chan­ge over a product’s life cycle as a result of new deve­lo­p­ments in the sta­te of the art. Accord­in­gly, deve­lo­p­ments in the sta­te of the art should be care­ful­ly scru­ti­ni­zed in each case wit­hin the bounds of pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce in order to check for future update obligations.

Out­look: Right of Repair

The intro­duc­tion of a gene­ral right of repair is cur­r­ent­ly being deba­ted at length at both the EU level and the natio­nal level. Under cur­rent law, a spe­ci­fic right of repair only exists for cer­tain pro­duct groups under the afo­re­men­tio­ned imple­men­ting mea­su­res adop­ted by the EU Com­mis­si­on based on the Eco-design Direc­ti­ve (see abo­ve). Accord­ing to the EU Com­mis­si­on, the­se regu­la­ti­ons are to be exten­ded in order to crea­te a gene­ral right of repair by app­ly­ing the Eco-design Direc­ti­ve to other pro­duct groups as part of the Euro­pean Green Deal. To this end, a con­sul­ta­ti­on pro­ce­du­re for the EU Com­mis­si­on is cur­r­ent­ly under­way as part of the Green Deal’s “Sus­tainab­le Pro­duct Initia­ti­ve” (“SPI”) (as we repor­ted), and will run through the start of April 2022. At the natio­nal level, the federal government’s coali­ti­on agree­ment con­tains the goal of imple­men­ting a gene­ral right of repair, and express­ly sta­tes that manu­fac­tu­rers would be requi­red to sup­ply updates during the typi­cal use­ful life of the pro­duct. Actu­al draft legis­la­ti­on has yet to be pre­sen­ted at eit­her the Euro­pean or the natio­nal level. Germany’s Minis­ter for the Envi­ron­ment, Natu­re Con­ser­va­ti­on, Nuclear Safe­ty and Con­su­mer Pro­tec­tion, Stef­fi Lem­ke, sta­ted in an inter­view that the Ger­man government intends to imple­ment a natio­nal right of repair as noted in the coali­ti­on agree­ment right away, regard­less of deve­lo­p­ments at the EU level. But this approach was dis­car­ded in sub­se­quent inter­views, so that we will need to await deve­lo­p­ments at the Euro­pean level for the time being.

The pro­po­sal for a gene­ral right of repair has encoun­te­red hea­vy cri­ti­cism from the indus­tri­al sec­tor, as well as from a legal stand­point. From a legal stand­point, a gene­ral right of repair, with the object of regu­la­ting pro­duct dura­bi­li­ty by requi­ring manu­fac­tu­rers to sup­ply spa­re parts for a peri­od of seven to ten years, would estab­lish no-fault lia­bi­li­ty for manu­fac­tu­rers and retailers bey­ond the sta­tu­to­ry war­ran­ty peri­ods. This would requi­re not only a sin­gle chan­ge in the law, but a long list of chan­ges and addi­ti­ons to a varie­ty of laws. Asi­de from the legal struc­tu­ring of a gene­ral right of repair, cri­ti­cism has focu­sed on the ques­ti­on as to the per­sons to whom such a requi­re­ment would actual­ly app­ly. If retailers are requi­red to ensu­re that a pro­duct can be repai­red, one may ask how retailers can be expec­ted to ensu­re such a thing, given that they do not manu­fac­tu­re the pro­duct them­sel­ves, but merely dis­tri­bu­te it. The only con­ceiva­ble solu­ti­on would be to invol­ve the manu­fac­tu­rer in the actu­al con­tract of sale, with the duty to per­form repairs. Likely the hea­viest cri­ti­cism has been level­led against the pro­po­sal to requi­re manu­fac­tu­rers to sup­ply updates throughout the typi­cal use­ful life of the pro­duct. Requi­ring manu­fac­tu­rers to ensu­re that pro­ducts are func­tio­n­ing pro­per­ly for a cer­tain peri­od of time after pla­ce­ment on the mar­ket, regard­less of actu­al fault, would result in strict pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty for manu­fac­tu­rers, asso­cia­ted with a duty to con­duct pro­duct sur­veil­lan­ce for pro­ducts on the mar­ket. This would repre­sent a sub­stan­ti­al depar­tu­re from the exis­ting princi­ples of pro­duct lia­bi­li­ty law in the nar­row sen­se (see abo­ve) and could not be jus­ti­fied by a mere refe­rence to a gene­ral right of repair.


Update obli­ga­ti­ons with regard to soft­ware pro­ducts are cur­r­ent­ly being deba­ted with respect to a wide varie­ty of laws at both the EU level and the natio­nal level, and have alrea­dy been imple­men­ted in some cases. The­re is also a dan­ger that addi­tio­nal update requi­re­ments will be estab­lis­hed as a result of chan­ges in the sta­te of the art. Com­pa­nies should fol­low the ongo­ing updates and dis­cus­sions as part of their com­pli­an­ce manage­ment acti­vi­ties, and should be pre­pa­red for future update requi­re­ments. Plea­se let us know if we can help you imple­ment the­se requirements.

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