Technip vs. Goossens: Copyright on scientific work
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 24 february 2006, Technip Benelux B.V. vs. Goossens.
Copyright. “Before proceeding with the evaluation of parts 1 and 2 of the appeal, the Supreme Court posits that the pivotal question in this matter is not whether the kinetic scheme itself is to be considered a computer program or “preparatory material”(…) nor whether the kinetic scheme, as a manuscript (…) qualifies for manuscript protection under the Dutch Copyright Act 1912. The pivotal question is whether the kinetic scheme qualifies as a work (“work”) within the meaning of Section 10(1), opening and closing words, of the Dutch Copyright Act 1912: “… and in general any product of literature, science or art, expressed by whatever means and in whatever form”. A requirement is that the product has its individual, original character and bears the stamp of its maker.”
“(...) Where the kinetic scheme is a schematic representation of the production process of ethylene and propylene in the petrochemical industry by means of, for example, a collection of chemical reaction comparisons, and the chemical reaction comparisons incorporated in the scheme are by themselves nothing but a number of objective scientific data which as such cannot be protected by copyright, the Court of Appeal was right to examine whether the selection of these data, with a view to the question of incorporating them – or not – into the kinetic scheme, has its own individual, original character and bears the stamp of its maker.”