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Tanczos amazed by Amazon audacity


Tanczos amazed by Amazon audacity

Green MP Nandor Tanczos says he has serious concerns about a bid by online retailer Amazon to extend its 'one-click' patent to New Zealand e-commerce websites.

Nandor said today he is backing objections from the Internet Technology Association of New Zealand (ITANZ) to Amazon's attempt to extend its United States patent for its speedy ordering system to this country.

Nandor is also calling on the Government to undertake an inquiry into software patenting in New Zealand.

"If this patent goes ahead, the ramifications on our IT start-up economy could be massive," Nandor said.

"This case and an earlier case, where lawyers for Canada-based DE Technologies sought royalties from NZ e-commerce operators, are worrying signs that the definition of legitimate intellectual property rights in relation to software is becoming more and more blurred.

"The question is whether or not we continue to allow the patenting of ideas. Historically, patents have been used for tangible inventions such as machines, but now we are seeing patents being applied to processes and thoughts.

"It is considered absurd to try and patent a mathematical process but now that these processes are hidden in software code, it's somehow considered okay."

Nandor's proposed government inquiry into software patents would include considering the following questions: What are patents for? How do software patents relate to the knowledge economy? Do software patents boost or impede the development of knowledge?

Nandor also strongly encourages ITANZ to push ahead with its plan to set up a patent advisory group whose role would be to inform and lobby.

Their suggestions of providing a service warning subscribers when internet-related patents are filed, and lobbying for changes to the Patents Act so that patents have to pass an 'obviousness test', are very important, Nandor said.

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