Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

IT Professionals support removal of Software Patents


IT Professionals support removal of Software Patents

The Institute of IT Professionals, New Zealand's largest IT representative body, strongly supports the Government's announcement today clarifying that software will not be patentable in New Zealand, removing a major barrier to software-led innovation.

IITP chief executive Paul Matthews said today that while the Institute supports Intellectual Property protection in general, the consensus amongst IT Professionals was that the patent system simply doesn't work for software. Thus today's announcement from Commerce Minister Foss was warmly welcomed.

"The Institute acknowledges this is a complex issue with many arguments for and against patentability of software. However on balance, it is in New Zealand's best interests for software to continue to be covered through the provisions of Copyright in the same way movies and books are, rather than through the patent system which has significant problems," Matthews said.

Discussion on the Patents Bill, currently before Parliament, has been ongoing. In 2010 the Commerce Select Committee considered the issue in depth and unanimously recommending that software not be patentable. This resulted in significant lobbying from patent lawyers and others. In 2012 Minister Foss released a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) that many believed could reverse this position. However today's SOP from the Minister makes the intentions of the law very clear.

"The Institute thanks Minister Foss for responding to industry concerns, clarifying the Patents Bill's intention to remove patentability of software and for taking extra steps to ensure the law around software patents is clear and unambiguous," Matthews said. "Software will not be patentable in New Zealand and a major barrier to software innovation has been removed".

"We also acknowledge the work of United Future's Peter Dunne, Labour's Clare Curran and other political parties who have listened to the industry's concerns and contributed towards a solution," Matthews said. "It's great that all parties support software-led innovation in New Zealand."

While not unanimous, there is strong consensus from the industry against software patents. "In a recent poll of over 1,000 New Zealand IT Professionals across the sector, around 94% of those with a view wanted to see software patents gone," Matthews said. Separately, a petition launched by the industry against software patents received over 1,000 signatures in under a week.

"The patent system doesn't work for software. We believe it's near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents awarded around the world, often for 'obvious' work," Matthews said. "Thus many software companies in New Zealand, creating outstanding and innovative software, live with a constant risk that their entire business could be threatened due to litigious action by a patent holder."

Ian McCrae, chief executive of New Zealand's largest software exporter Orion Health agreed, saying today "We welcome this announcement. Under the current regime, obvious things are getting patented. You might see a logical enhancement to your software, but you can't do it because someone else has a patent. In general, software patents are counter-productive, often used obstructively and get in the way of innovation. We are a software company and as such, our best protection is to innovate and innovate fast."

John Ascroft, Chief Innovation Officer of Jade Corporation said "We believe the patent process is onerous, not suited to the software industry, and challenges our investment in innovation."

Orion and Jade together account for around 50% of software exports from New Zealand.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics Of Omicron Treatment, Plus A Playlist


As the Omicron infection wave prepares to break across New Zealand, the “red” condition is likely to be more of a form of gestural politics, than as a useful shield. Good ideas like masks and social distancing and limits on social gatherings are not going to do much to slow down the rate of infections. At base, the traffic light system has been a mechanism devised to enable businesses to continue to operate, regardless of the state or public health. It was created in response to the Delta outbreak, and it took final shape just as Omicron emerged in South Africa...
More>>



 
 


Save The Children: Thousands Join Call To Retain New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner

More than 6000 Kiwis have joined Save the Children New Zealand’s call to retain the vital role of Children’s Commissioner, as the Government considers a new bill proposing major changes to the office, including the removal of a named Children’s Commissioner... More>>


Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


TradeMe: Property Prices Increase By A Record 25% In One Year
In December, the national average asking price jumped by a quarter year on year, to reach a new high of $956,150, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index. Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said last month’s national average asking price increase was the largest on record... More>>


Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels