Feeds

NZ government makes software 'unpatentable' (for now)

Future guidelines to address embedded code

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The New Zealand government has decided to push through the country's contentious new Patent Bill without making any amendments to it, thereby making software "unpatentable".

However, NZ's commerce minister Simon Power noted that the country's Intellectual Property Office would draft new guidelines once the Bill has passed the final stages in Parliament.

The rulebook will eventually allow inventions that contain embedded software to be patented, he said.

"IPONZ will formulate draft guidelines and seek the views of interested parties," said Power.

"My decision follows a meeting with the chair of the Commerce Committee where it was agreed that a further amendment to the bill is neither necessary nor desirable."

In March, the NZ Commerce Committee recommended that computer programs should not be a patentable invention.

While mulling the bill the committee was inundated with submissions from people opposing the granting of patents for computer programs. They complained that such a move could "stifle innovation and restrict competition," said the NZ government.

At the same time, it agreed with Power's office that "companies investing in inventions involving 'embedded' computer programs should be able to obtain patent protection for these inventions".

New Zealand's Computer Society (NZCS) group cautiously welcomed the move.

"We believe this is a win for innovative New Zealand software companies who will now have a reduced, albeit still present, risk when creating innovative software," said the outfit's Paul Matthews in a blog post today.

"The matter isn't over yet in New Zealand, of course. The next issue will be in ensuring that the guidelines to be developed protecting embedded systems (ie non-abstract inventions with a software component) are strong enough to remove the possibility of software patents by stealth, and NZCS will maintain a very close watching brief on this." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?