The City of Munich insists that it has not changed its plan to deploy 14,000 Linux desktops, despite halting development for now in response to recent EU moves favouring the patenting of software.
Munich is using the delay to urge all European open source advocates to lobby for protection against the EU's planned legislation.
The city's website states that it will "uphold its strategic decision to prefer Linux" and that only the tender for "base clients" has been put on hold.
Munich said that the reason for the delay is: "Legal and financial risks must be examined due to the most recent moves in the EU regarding the patentability of software."
The decision highlights growing concerns in Europe and the US that software patents could be applied to undermine open source software projects.
In the EU, software patents are not currently allowed, but the Patent Law: Patentability Of Computer-Implemented Inventions directive may allow US-style software patents for the first time.
The directive has not yet been ratified, but recent amendments have caused open source users concern as it could be used to enforce patents and charge for intellectual property.
According to the website, the mayor of Munich believes that all cities and companies with a fundamental interest in open source should "strongly lobby with the EU and their national governments in order to [gain] more favourable legislation on patentability of software".
A paper entitled Mitigating Linux Patent Risk, produced this month by the Open Source Risk Management organisation, identified 283 patents that might be infringed by Linux.
But, reassuringly for open source users, it also found that "not a single software patent fully reviewed and validated by the courts is infringed by Linux".
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