[Fsfe-ie] Fwd: New Zealand says "No" to Software Patents

Bob Jolliffe bobjolliffe at gmail.com
Thu Jul 15 11:28:54 CEST 2010

Some good news from NZ ...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Venkatesh Hariharan <venkyh at gmail.com>
Date: 15 July 2010 08:11
Subject: New Zealand says "No" to Software Patents
To: software_patents_india at googlegroups.com


Minister Announces No Software Patents

Submitted by Feynmanfan on July 15, 2010 - 14:30.

Minister of Commerce Simon Power today announced that further
amendment to the Patent Bill is neither necessary nor desirable, and
that the insertion of an exception for software would prevail. He has
also asked IPONZ to formulate draft guidelines and seek the views of
interested parties regarding patents involving embedded software.

The response to this news has been immediate. Paul Matthews of the New
Zealand Computer Society writes "Despite what appears to be a
big-budget lobbying effort by the pro-patent fraternity, Hon Simon
Power announced today that he wouldn't be modifying the proposed
Patents Bill hence software will be unpatentable once the Bill passes
into law."

He continues to say "We believe it's near impossible for software to
be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of
software patents awarded around the world, hence many software
companies in New Zealand, creating outstanding and innovative
software, live a constant risk that their entire business will be
wound up overnight due to litigious action by a patent holder."

News outlets have also been quick off the mark, with the NZHerald,
ComputerWorld and Scoop running stories about the development.

The outcome today is not the only news about software patents. The
fallout from the Bilski case in the US is starting, with the Board of
Patents Appeals and Interferences making a ruling citing Bilski in
rejecting a software patent by HP.

This decision has been made despite significant opposition by some
very powerful multinational IT vendors and organisations which
represent them. On June 9 there was a meeting between NZICT and its
representatives from Microsoft and IBM to reverse the decision to
accept the recommendation of the Commerce Select Committee. While this
attempt was not successful there was a question about whether the
language would be modified.


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