AfterDawn: Tech news

New Zealand bans software patents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 01 Sep 2013 13:24 User comments (2)

New Zealand bans software patents New Zealand has passed a new bill this week, banning software patents in the nation.
The bill in its entirety will be posted as a link at the end of this article, but here is one of the most relevant parts:

We received many submissions concerning the patentability of computer programs. ... Open source, or free, software has grown in popularity since the 1980s. Protecting software by patenting is inconsistent with the open source model, and its proponents oppose it. A number of submitters argued that there is no "inventive step" in software development, as "new" software invariably builds on existing software. They felt that computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques. In general we accept this position. ...

[With regard to corporations fighting for proprietary software,] After careful consideration we concluded that developing a clear and definitive distinction between embedded and other types of software is not a simple matter; and that, for the sake of clarity, a simple approach would be best. We received advice that our recommendation to include computer programs among the inventions that may not be patented would be unlikely to prevent the granting of patents for inventions involving embedded software.

The patent, in its entirety: Patents Bill 235-2

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2 user comments

18.9.2013 0:16

Finally a sensible action. Their contention is absolutely correct. Most of the software is developed using ready made tools of other companies. How many people are actually doing any machine language programming? In any case even at that level all the commands have been developed by the CPU designer manufacturer.

The next step should be banning patenting of shape, size, contour, appearance, etc of a product. Apple can cry a river.

29.9.2013 9:27

The whole issue of patenting & copyright is in need of serious redesign.
It's about as far away from the original intention as possible, it isn't protecting the artist or inventor and has simply become a vehicle for extracting more money from various people (and businesses).

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