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[News] The Fight Against Software Patent in New Zealand Carries on

  • Subject: [News] The Fight Against Software Patent in New Zealand Carries on
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 23:50:26 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
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Select Committee Scrutiny Called For On Patents Changes - InternetNZ

,----[ Quote ]
| InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has 
| today called for the Government to allow 
| any proposed changes to the Patents Bill to 
| be referred back to the Commerce Select 
| Committee for further scrutiny.
| The issue of software patents has recently 
| attracted a great deal of attention and 
| controversy, particularly in respect of the 
| patentability of "embedded software".


Nature of Patent Bill change disputed 

,----[ Quote ]
| Commerce Minister Simon Power and the 
| Economic Development Ministry have rejected 
| claims from commerce select committee 
| chairwoman Lianne Dalziel they have 
| significantly shifted their position by 
| proposing software which has a "technical 
| purpose" could be patented.
| Mr Power announced in April that the 
| Government would back changes to the 
| Patents Bill proposed by the commerce 
| select committee that would mean computer 
| software could no longer be patented. The 
| committee's understanding was that 
| inventions that relied on "embedded 
| software" â software that is built into a 
| physical device â would still be 
| patentable.
| [...]
| Information technology industry body NZICT 
| has campaigned in favour of software 
| patents, fearing the effect that 
| restricting software patents could have on 
| both its multinational members and locally 
| owned software exporters.



Software patents may be allowed in New Zealand after all

,----[ Quote ]
| Software patents, apparently on the way to
| being ruled out for New Zealand after a
| Select Committee decision on the Patents
| Bill, might not be completely excluded after
| all.
| The committee earlier this year inserted a
| clause in the second-reading copy of the
| Bill [Section 15(3A)] reading simply âa
| computer program is not a patentable
| invention.â
| On June 9 there was a meeting between
| Ministry of Economic Development (MED)
| officials and a delegation of local and
| international software companies led by
| Brett OâRiley of industry lobby NZICT Group.


New Zealand U-Turns, Will Grant Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| 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's 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."


New Zealand govt against software patents!


New Zealand


New Zealand Brings Software Patents back From Brink of Extinction

,----[ Quote ]
| New Zealand looks like its reversing course
| on software patent protection.  On June 9,
| there was a meeting between representatives
| of NZ Ministry of Economic Development (MED)
| and representatives of NZICT Group.  It
| appears that New Zealand is likely to
| ultimately adopt an approach to software
| patents that is consistent with the EPOâs
| position.  My thanks to Jim Hallenbeck
| (Schwegman) and Paik Saber (IBM) for
| relaying this information.
| Here is the summary of the meeting provided
| by Brett OâRiley CEO of NZICT:
| Our representative delegation met with MED
| in Wellington yesterday.  This was to
| discuss the formal submission we had made to
| Hon Simon Power last week covering our
| concerns about the proposed draft
| legislation.


New Zealand Politicians Convinced By Lobbyists To Bring Back Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| There was widespread happiness among
| software developers a few months back, when
| it was announced that New Zealand had
| decided to explicitly ban software patents.
| Of course, it didn't take long for a
| lobbying campaign to kick off from those
| opposed to this provision, and it appears
| the lobbying was effective, such that
| software patents will now be allowed --
| though, they will still be somewhat limited
| (as they are in Europe). So, it's not quite
| as bad as the situation in the US. A New
| Zealand patent attorney posted a letter from
| the head of the lobbying group discussing
| this shift. While that blog post has since
| been deleted, as of this posting Google
| still has the cache.


,----[ Quote ]
| Hi,
| You have to be aware what is the strategy of
| IBM and Microsoft when
| they try to push for the infamous "as such" | provision.
| A German court has recently made Microsoft
| FAT patentable, despite the
| exclusion of computer programs "as such"
| from the law (the EPC).
| Patent judges tends to interpret this
| provision as "a computer program
| as such is a computer program on a piece of | paper" and this is what is
| excluded. On the other side, when the
| program runs on the computer, it
| becomes patentable.
| If you are interested in clarifications to
| bring in New Zealand, you
| can take inspiration from the FFIIÂs 10 core clarifications:
| http://consultation.ffii.org/Clarifications


Labour party on software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| "The issue of who controls software that
| New Zealanders have developed is an
| important one. Copyright allows the
| developer to control the terms under which
| software is released. Patents remove that
| right and hand it over to a third party.
| Basically, software patents create a
| lottery around control of your own efforts.
| "We are pleased that Commerce Minister
| Simon Power has said that the Government
| would support a select committee
| recommendation that the Intellectual
| Property Office develop guidelines for
| inventions that involve âembedded softwareâ
| - software that is built into a physical
| device.
| âSoftware will still be protected by
| copyright, which prevents outright copying.
| We believe this to be sensible and the
| right decision," Clare Curran said.


Software exclusion will encourage Kiwi innovators

,----[ Quote ]
| The exclusion of computer software from a
| Patents Bill before Parliament is a step
| towards helping New Zealand become more
| innovative Labour MPs Lianne Dalziel and
| Clare Curran said today.


InternetNZ Agrees - No To Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc)
| agrees with the Commerce Select Committee
| and Minister Hon Simon Power that software
| should not be patentable. InternetNZ
| outlined its position in a submission to
| the Committee in July 2009.


InternetNZ: "No to software patents"


NZCS: ICT profession supports patent removal

,----[ Quote ]
| The New Zealand Computer Society polled its
| members and found that 81% supported the
| recommendation to remove Software from the
| Patents Act.
| NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews said,
| âThis is a big issue for the ICT sector.
| And whilst not scientific, this poll
| clearly backs up previous consultation
| showing widespread support from the ICT
| sector for the removal of software
| patents.â


Select Committee Suggestion to Discard Software Patents is Causing Worry

,----[ Quote ]
| He said that they consider that it is vital
| for firms to keep hold of the alternative to
| shield their originality under copyright law,
| if that is their option.


Select Committee recommendation "worrying"


Software patents questioned


Further Progress Toward New Zealand's New Patent Act


NZCS lobbies to end patent protection for software

,----[ Quote ]
| The New Zealand Computer Society has come out
| in support of a ban on software patents,
| sending a letter yesterday to Minister of
| Commerce Simon Power supporting a Commerce
| Select Committee recommendation to remove
| patent protection for software in New Zealand
| law.
| The move comes after a quick poll of NZCS
| members, IT professionals from around New
| Zealand, found 80 percent opposed patent
| protection for software.
| "The Society acknowledges this is a complex
| issue with many reasons for and against
| patentability of software. However on
| balance, it is in New Zealand's best
| interests for software to be covered through
| the provisions of copyright in the same way
| movies and books are, rather than through the
| patent system which has significant
| problems," NZCS chief executive Paul Matthews
| says in a blog post.


NZCS lobbies to end patent protection for software


Software patent ban could damage investment

,----[ Quote ]
| Any exclusion of software from the New
| Zealand patents regime will âsuck the
| lifebloodâ out of the New Zealand software
| development industry, says Chris Auld,
| director of strategy and innovation at
| Microsoft-specialist developer Intergen.


Our Members


Call for caution over software patents


Power to delete software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Commerce Minister Simon Power says the
| Government will back changes proposed by a
| select committee that will mean computer
| software can no longer be patented.
| Parliament's commerce select committee
| proposed amending the Patents Bill, which
| passed its first reading in May last year,
| after receiving many submissions on the
| controversial issue.
| The recommendation has attracted
| considerable attention outside New Zealand,
| particularly from the open source software
| community, which claims large software
| makers have gamed the patent system and
| stifled innovation.


Select committee report on Patents Bill: computer software not patentable


Abolish software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| I think that the best way to defend open
| source against software patent attacks is to
| abolish software patents. The U.S. Supreme
| Court might abolish software patents this
| month in the U.S.A. New Zealand is close to
| passing a law abolishing software patents in
| New Zealand. We are making progress from the
| days when people considered abolishing
| software patents just a flaky idea.


Response to Software Patent Supporters


Power backs deletion of software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Commerce Minister Simon Power says the
| Government will back changes proposed by a
| select committee that will mean computer
| software can no longer be patented.
| Parliament's commerce select committee
| proposed amending the Patents Bill, which
| passed its first reading in May last year,
| after receiving many submissions on the
| controversial issue.


New Zealand govt against software patents!

,----[ Quote ]
| Substantial credit is due to the people in
| NZ that submitted letters making the case
| against software patents:
|     * Egressive Limited
|     * The New Zealand Open Source Society
|     * InternetNZ
|     * Guy Burgess


Select Committee Reports On New Patents Bill In New Zealand


New Zealand Politicians Want To Explicitly Outlaw Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| As we wait for the Bilski ruling in the US
| (which my gut feeling tells me will have
| the Supreme Court totally punt on the issue
| of software patents), it seems like
| politicians down in New Zealand have
| figured out that software patents are a
| real problem.


New Zealand Legislators Say Software should be Inpatentable

,----[ Quote ]
| New Zealand legislators have proposed a
| bill which would make it impossible to
| patent software. The bill, which is going
| through the process for patent reform,
| clearly indicates that software should not
| be patentable.
| If this bill becomes a law, then it will
| create friction with US ACTA negotiators,
| who about to make software patents standard
| internationally.


New Zealand patent reform bill says no to software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| New Zealand's parliament is preparing to
| vote on a major patent reform bill that
| will tighten the country's standards of
| patentability. One of the most significant
| changes in the proposed bill is a specific
| patentability exclusion for software. If
| the bill receives parliamentary approval in
| its current form, it will broadly eliminate
| conventional software patents in New
| Zealand.
| The bill was drafted by the Select Commerce
| Committee, which decided to include the
| exclusion after reviewing feedback from the
| software industry. The bill's official
| summary acknowledges that software patents
| are detrimental to the open source software
| development model and have the potential to
| seriously stifle innovation.


New Zealand legislators want to outlaw software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| As part of an effort to update patent law,
| New Zealand legislators have proposed a
| bill which would make it impossible to
| patent software. If it becomes law it would
| no doubt cause friction with US ACTA
| negotiators, who are pushing to make
| software patents standard internationally.
| Currently they are recognized in just a few
| countries, including the US and Japan.

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