Feeds

New Zealand to bar software patents, again

New legislation closes loophole, makes it plain Kiwis won't patent code

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The software patentability row in New Zealand, which broke out last August over the wording of new patent legislation, seems to have been settled with the release of new legislation by the government.

In a move that's been welcomed locally by the IT industry, the government has clarified the original intention of the legislation, that software alone should not be patentable.

Last year, a revision to the wording of the proposed patent law appeared to create a gap through which software patents could slip – via the words “as such”. While software “as such” didn't qualify for patents, a patent covering an invention including software (for example an embedded system) would cover the software in it.

That's the confusion the government has now moved to eliminate. Commerce Minister Craig Foss has popped out a In a note he says is based on UK case law and which explains the bill now includes a clarification Foss says will “ensure the Bill is consistent with the intention of the Commerce Select Committee recommendation that computer programs should not be patentable”.

The amendment to the bill is available here, with the key principle set out quite clearly: “A computer program is not an invention and not a manner of manufacture for the purposes of this Act.”

Even New Zealand's largest software exporter, Orion Health, has backed the move, telling the New Zealand Herald that software patents are counter-productive and “get in the way of innovation”. In particular, its CEO Ian McCrae said, “obvious” activities are patented as software and used to block competitors from introducing new features to their own software. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.