Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Clueless Minister stifles software sector

Clueless Minister stifles software sector

Our growing innovative software industry has been dealt a cruel blow which will compromise and stifle its potential, says Clare Curran, Labour’s communications and IT spokesperson.

The National Government’s decision to open the door to the patenting of computer software winds back a simple but vital change to our little known patent law, which has undergone its first review since 1953.

Craig Foss’s decision is a major back-down on the stance taken by the previous Commerce Minister Simon Power to back the unanimous decision of the Commerce Select Committee, following clear advice from officials.

The Patents Bill proposed to exclude computer software from being patentable, because like books, movies or music, it can be protected under copyright law. This was a ground-breaking position which has been generally applauded by the burgeoning New Zealand ICT sector.

The Select Committee accepted that new software inventions are regularly built on existing software, and that software patents were often granted for “trivial or existing techniques.”

The Committee found that using intellectual property in a fair and reasonable manner would promote Kiwi innovation and build advanced industries.

“The last minute amendment by the Government so that software “as such” can’t be patented, but inventions that include software can be, opens the door to widespread patenting of software. The Minister has caved in to pressure from big corporations which fear competition from smaller players.

“That’s a slap in the face to the local industry, and many innovative Kiwi software firms will now face real challenges to develop new software.

“The Minister should have stuck to his predecessor’s plan to get the Intellectual Property Office to develop guidelines for inventions that involves ‘embedded software’, or software that is built into a physical device. That would have been a reasonable solution which would have promoted innovation in one of New Zealand’s emerging industries.

“Labour’s policy is to enact and implement the Patent Bill excluding computer software. That will give our software innovators the best chance to succeed,” says Clare Curran.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Failing To Prepare For Either Mental Health Needs, Or Covid Outbreaks


In a week when the Covid scare in Wellington and the national crisis in mental health both hit the headlines, they also seemed like mirror images of each other – in that we seem equally ill-prepared on both fronts. In both cases, contingency planning has seeds next to non-existent... More>>

 

National: Minister Little All Out Of Answers On Mental Health

In Parliament today Health Minister Andrew Little had few answers to my questions on the mental health crisis Labour has allowed to balloon in their nearly four years in Government, National’s Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey says... More>>

ALSO:


Environment: Bringing Back The Health Of Hauraki Gulf

New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations.
The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First Returns: Winston Peters - AGM Address

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be in Auckland for the 28th New Zealand First Party Conference. It is our intention and mission to remain the most successful political party outside of National and Labour in the last three decades... More>>



Government: New Members Appointed To Waitangi Tribunal

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Willie Jackson, today announced the appointment of three new members to the Waitangi Tribunal and the reappointment of one existing member to the Waitangi Tribunal... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels