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NZRise – Software Patents Gone at Last

NZRise – Software Patents Gone at Last

NZRise are delighted that, after years of representations by the NZ digital community, the Government has agreed not to allow patents on software in New Zealand.

The New Zealand digital sector rallied and expressed a united view and the political establishment responded.

The Patents Bill SOP makes it clear that software patents will not be welcome in New Zealand and the economic handbrake on innovation seen in other countries will not be replicable here.

“Commerce Minister, Craig Foss, has had a difficult row to hoe in balancing international obligations with the needs of the local digital sector”, says NZRise co-Chair Don Christie.

“We are happy with the outcome which puts New Zealand at the forefront of dealing with the international problem caused by software patents. We hope other countries will follow suit and heavily restrict or outright ban this phenomenon which over the last decade has stymied technological innovation and economic growth."

“Experience in New Zealand and overseas has shown time and time again that software patents cannot be granted fairly and allow companies that create nothing to threaten innovative software creators. Patents are intended to promote innovation by allowing people to make money from their inventions; but in software they have the opposite effect of allowing others to make money from inventors' work. I am delighted that the Minister understands this point and is acting to unequivocally rule out software patents in New Zealand, boosting our software industry that already contributes so much to our exports.” says Colin Jackson of

NZRise would also like to thank and acknowledge the good work of organisations that have campaigned tirelessly on this topic. They include IITP, InternetNZ, NZOSS and, going back in time, ITANZ.

NZRise has found politicians of all parties interested and keen to support the New Zealand digital sector. There has been a genuine cross party consensus on the issue. Labour's IT spokesperson Clare Curran has ensured that the topic has not been set aside over the years, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne made clear his support for the local IT sector and Commerce Minister, Craig Foss has delivered on the Government's assurances despite great external pressures to drop the issue.

NZRise member and CEO of Advanced Management Systems Limited, Noel Reid, speaks for many when he concludes “Spending our money on software development, not legal costs, is a great outcome; thank you Minister Foss.


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