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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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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:57AM (#43673831) Homepage

    Not only that, but this hasn't made it into law yet. Expect to see intense lobbying by (mostly) US business interests

    Actually, I'd expect the US government to become heavily involved in this. They've been pushing copyright and IP laws on trading partners via treaties under threat of sanctions.

    I just can't see the US government standing by quietly since the US has increasingly set themselves up to be an economy based on such things, and they've been using their clout to force everyone else to entrench laws to protect it.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:04AM (#43673889) []

    Little something I wrote years ago that reads an ASF file (Or WMA, or WMV) headers and decodes them all into a human-readable dump. Handy thing if you work with media in those formats.

    Unless you're in the US. Can't use it there. That format is the subject of a patent. So I'm just going to sit here in the UK and look smug. If I were in the US, I wouldn't have been able to make that. The author of virtualdub is though, so he had to strip ASF-reading functionality out of his software when Microsoft threatened to sue.

  • by gwolf ( 26339 ) <gwolf AT gwolf DOT org> on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:30AM (#43674067) Homepage

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, to which New Zealand is a signatory, is set to mandate (among many trade "enabling" issues) a strong set of intellectual property rights homologation between involved countries. We are worried (being "we" Mexicans, where software patents are strictly and explicitly off the law) that TPP pushes for software patents.
    Does anybody have an insight on what will this mean for this issue in NZ? It is *very* naïve to suppose that, as most TPP-signing countries don't recognize software patents, they will be stopped at the other signatories. Extremely naïve.

  • by neghvar1 ( 1705616 ) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:23AM (#43674553)
    WooHoo! What I wish patent limitations here would be is 1) must be a tangible inventions (in other words, no software, business models, etc. Must have physical form) 2) Must be something that was invented and not simply discovered. ( no patenting of genes) 3) The person(s) or company that filed the patent must be a practicing entity ( R&D, manufacturing and marketing of that invention must be conducted otherwise the patent will be voided) 4) Patents must be specific to the invention (in simplest terms, meaning that invention 10 + 10 =20 would not be a violation of invention 4 * 5 =20 patent) 5) Patent refers to the specifics of the final product only( the final product of a genetically engineered seed and not just a strand of its DNA. meaning that cross-pollenization and hybridization conducted by nature that creates a new seed that contains that gene does not violate the patent. Up yours Monsanto!!)
  • Re:Makes sense (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:34AM (#43674647)

    The wikipedia entry is a troll. A more accurate interpretation of it is that people who are full of themselves are especially shunned, and those who skip the self promotion and just get on and do it are idolized. Kiwis have nothing against intellectuals, only those that go around telling everyone one else how dumb they are, but that sort of stuffed shirt person isn't held in high regard anywhere. There is also a deep suspision of those that wear ties, but that doesn't make the country anti-business, just anti-used car salesman.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell