Feeds

NZ government makes software 'unpatentable' (for now)

Future guidelines to address embedded code

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan
Well, not really F1 but who's heard of LMP and VLN*?
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.