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Pirate Party condemns pro-patent spin on software patents


Pirate Party condemns pro-patent lobbyist spin on software patents


New Zealand Pirate Party co-leader Bruce Kingsbury today condemned the suggestion that software patents may be required in New Zealand law.

The bill was reported back by the Select Committee on 30 March 2010, and the committee accepted the view of submitters that software development was an organic process, where new software invariably builds on prior software.

“There is no ‘inventive step’ in software development, as would be required for patenting,” said Mr Kingsbury.

The situation is slightly more complex for physical inventions that include a software component known as ‘embedded software’. For example, a modern washing machine is potentially a patentable mechanical invention, but is also controlled by software running on an inbuilt computer. That software would not itself be patentable, and the select committee has recommended that the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand develop guidelines to explain the distinction.

“Microsoft’s attempt to spin this as a change of position or some insurmountable problem with the select committee’s decision is little more than a last-minute attempt by them to subvert the democratic process to their own advantage,” said Mr Kingsbury

“We congratulate Commerce Minster Simon Power and the Government for continuing to support the select committee’s recommendation and doing what is best for New Zealand software developers and the wider IT community. We hope the Government will continue to resist this unwelcome pressure from foreign interests’ lobby groups.”

*About The Pirate Party of New Zealand*

The Pirate Party of New Zealand is a political party which seeks to reduce the unfair monopolies perpetrated by the oppressive copyright and patent system in New Zealand. It is our aim to improve individual privacy and civil rights as they apply in the modern digital age. You can find out more about The Pirate Party of New Zealand at http://pirateparty.org.nz.

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