Intellectual property issues threaten the SCAF program

In the small world of European defense cooperation, things are not going as well as they seem. Because if officially, manufacturers are actively engaged with government support in these programs, many difficulties, whether they are differences in how programs are managed politically, or industrial sharing between the industrial bases of each country, hamper their smooth running, at least in a civil manner. The latest problem is that there are significant tensions between French manufacturers participating in the SCAF program and their German counterparts on the subject of how the German political authorities manage the intellectual property of the programs that they finance.

In fact, traditionally in France, manufacturers retain the intellectual property rights of the equipment they develop, even if the State has a strict right of supervision over the use made of these technologies. In Germany, on the other hand, all intellectual property is owned by the State, and the latter gives manufacturers a right of use. This may seem like a point of detail, but it has serious consequences when we talk about an international cooperation program. Indeed, for Berlin, there is no question of accepting that an industrialist provides "technological black boxes" without having full knowledge of these technologies. Thus, if the industrialist were to fail, the State could continue to exploit these technologies by transferring them to another actor.

The political harmony displayed around European cooperation for the SCAF program masks many operational difficulties

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