Purchasing and Sales Consulting: Used Software

Software manufacturers want to sell the most latest (successor-) versions. New software versions shall generate higher revenues. From the viewpoint of the software producer, the software lifecycle is to be terminated as soon as the current version shows a decline in sales. This is the case when most of the market participants have already purchased the current version of the computer program. If a higher net profit is achieved by the release of a successor version, the economically monopolistic software producer will discontinue the version.

In this case the user often only has a recourse to used software, because the old version is no longer sold by the manufacturer.

Same Product, different Price

New software can be purchased from different procurement sources. OEM-products, MAR software or volume licenses are just a few examples. Rights holders may authorize dealers in different countries to sell similar products at different prices. We advise you on cheaper purchase.

Low Costs through Purchase Optimisation

Software is an asset value.Software licenses that are not used anymore can be sold. Doing so, additional IT budget can is gained. We also consult on planned purchase of used software.

Used software has been discussed in the legal literature for more than 20 years. “Software is a product that can not be subject to a wear process” [1], determined Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren already in 1992.

With software, no wear phenomena occur in the conventional sense. [2] A software product possession of which is gained by a second party, is therefore not to be regarded as used in the sense of the word. In practice, however, it has become established to call a software, which is sold to a third party by a first-time buyer, used software. In contrast, the term “new software” refers in practice to software without a prior user. It is to be regarded as new because it is acquired directly from the rights owner or from a dealer, usually a company authorized by the rights owner.

Although software does not wear, used software, in particular standard software, which has already been used by a first-time buyer, is significantly cheaper than new software at the purchase price.

Source References

Hoeren, CR 1992, 257, 258.

Hoeren in CR 2006, 573; Rüffler, ÖBl, 11/2008, 52.


The German Association for Data Protection undertakes purchase negotiations and acquires new or used software in the client order. We sell no longer required software licenses of our clients. Our employees recommend potential suppliers new software licenses and provide a buyer with unused software. We have contacts with software suppliers in numerous Member States of the European Union and, if desired, take over the complete software procurement for our clients.