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Software Patents

New Zealand Set To Prohibit Software Patents 90

Drishmung writes "The New Zealand Commerce Minister Craig Foss today (9 May 2013) announced a significant change to the Patents Bill currently before parliament, replacing the earlier amendment with far clearer law and re-affirming that software really will be unpatentable in New Zealand. An article on the Institute of IT Professionals web site by IT Lawyer Guy Burgess looks at the the bill and what it means, with reference to the law in other parts of the world such as the USA, Europe and Britain (which is slightly different from the EU situation)."
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New Zealand Set To Prohibit Software Patents

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  • About time! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Transfinite ( 1684592 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:26AM (#43673671)
    Let's hope the rest of the world will see sense and follow soon.
  • Makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:33AM (#43673709) Homepage Journal
    Recently a colleague ( also a software engineer ) told me about his trip to New Zealand. He was so impressed by the NZ levelheadedness - which might be, he mused, something close to a national characteristic - that he now considers moving there....
  • by guitardood ( 934630 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:32AM (#43674089)
    Software algorithms, especially as most programmers were taught from the same basics, can be very ubiquitous. While I think coding implementation of an alogrithm can be unique and should be copyrightable, granting patents on the algorithm is a very flawed and growth inhibiting concept. It's nice to see ANY lawmaker realizing this and trying to correct this egregious error that, IMHO, has gimped software development for the last 20 years. I wonder when the laws in the U.S. will catch up with this way of thinking and put an end to all the freaking patent trolls.
  • by ImprovOmega ( 744717 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:42AM (#43674727)
    Because algorithms, like mathematical formulae are not so much developed as discovered. The same algorithm would've worked in caveman days on a rock-based Turing machine, it's just that we hadn't gotten around to finding it yet. It would be akin to patenting diamonds the first time they were discovered, and equally absurd. Now, you don't have to share your discovery with anyone, and you can certainly copyright your specific implementation of it, but patenting discoveries does the opposite of what the patent system was supposed to do which is to foster innovation. In point of fact the patent system fails pretty hard in fostering innovation right now, as quick as science is progressing.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer