I know there have been numerous posts over the years on typeface copyright laws (I fully understand the US laws, aka, the font software can be protected but not the design), but I have some questions about European typeface copyright laws, specifically for Germany. Just to be clear, any examples I'm giving are also assuming the typeface names are changed, as I know names can be trademarked.
I'm guessing this is fairly broad, but according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property_protection_of_typefaces
typeface designs are protected in Germany, but only for the first 25 years after publishing.
So my question deals with the fact that many foundries make re-drawn versions of the same typeface. For example, Avenir was published by Linotype GmbH in 1988, so about 34 years ago. If the 25 year rule applies in Germany, it would seem that Avenir as a typeface is no longer protected as far as the design.
But, in 2003, Linotype released Avenir Next, which is an updated cut of Avenir by Frutiger. Does that mean if one were to design a typeface today that was seen as being too close to Avenir, Linotype/Monotype would possibly be able to say it is a copy of Avenir Next, as it was published only 19 years ago?
Hopefully that makes sense. I was just curious, as it seems like Monotype could essentially keep coming out with "updated" versions of everything every 24 years for all of eternity, and protect a very wide swath of the typeface market even hundreds of years later when old designs may be seen as antiquated or ready for some sort of revival.