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Patents

Software Now Un-Patentable In New Zealand 221

A few weeks ago New Zealand Software decided to grant software patents. But now "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 un-patentable once the Bill passes into law. This is significant. As we've previously pointed out software patents aren't black and white, and there are certainly pros and cons. However on balance, we believe they represent a far greater risk to smaller NZ-based software providers than opportunity, and there are many cases where they have significantly stifled innovation. 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. This has led to many a 'patent troll' company, primarily in the US. These are non-software companies who exist only to buy up old patents with the sole intention of suing innovative software companies for apparent breach of these patents. The effects of this have been chilling."
Patents

Submission + - New Zealand u-turns, will grant software patents (googleusercontent.com) 2

ciaran_o_riordan writes: Due to lobbying by a group called NZICT, New Zealand's parliament is now set to let go of its proposal to ban software patents. Patent attorney Steven Lundberg announced the details in a blog entry. This was quickly deleted, but not before it got stored in Google cache. Here we can read that "Hon Simon Power has asked MED [Ministry of Economic Development] to work with the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to redraft the section along the lines of the European Patent Convention." Which is exactly the opposite of March's announcement 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" The background to this case gives every reason to be hopeful, if computer users in New Zealand get active again.

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