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New Zealand U-Turns, Will Grant Software Patents 94

ciaran_o_riordan writes "Due to lobbying by a group called NZICT, New Zealand's parliament is now set to let go of its proposal to ban software patents. Patent attorney Steven Lundberg announced the details in a blog entry. This was quickly deleted, but not before it got stored in Google's cache. Here we can read that 'Hon Simon Power has asked MED [Ministry of Economic Development] to work with the Parliamentary Counsel's Office to redraft the section along the lines of the European Patent Convention.' Which is exactly the opposite of March's announcement that 'computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques.' The background to this case gives every reason to be hopeful, if computer users in New Zealand get active again."
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New Zealand U-Turns, Will Grant Software Patents

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  • Citation needed? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:33AM (#32662892)

    I don't want to sound overly sceptical, but the evidence for this is a blog post that the blog's author has since deleted, right? Would it kill someone to email the blog's author and ask why it was deleted? Could it be that it's inaccurate in some material way? I'm not arguing that the post's deletion is a demonstration of inaccuracy, but it raises an eyebrow.

  • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:15AM (#32663058)

    Software patents hinder progress because they give existing slow-moving, dinossaur-like large companies the tools to kill small innovative IT companies before they outcompete them and turn into the large companies of the future.

    In Software there are no basic concepts which are trully new or innovative and require patent protection - pretty much any software concept can and will be independently reinvented again and again because all professionals in the field will come up with similar solutions when trying to solve similar problems.

    All software which is sufficiently complex for being non-obvious is already protected by copyright due to it's sheer size - no patents needed.

    Any country that adopts Software Patents creates the conditions for the stagnation of their own Software industry - Software Patents are used by large companies to kill, while they're still young, any and all companies which might've one day turn out into something like Google.

    For a country like New Zeeland, which has no large software companies, enacting Software Patents will just kill local software companies for the benefit of larger foreign ones. This is pretty much the pinacle of stupidity.

    As an European I tell you New-Zeelanders: don't follow-up on the footsteps of the EU and the US - in 20 years time all new and innovative ideas will be coming up in countries where, thanks to weaker IP enforcement, the cauldron of innovation and unfettered competition continues to bubble at full strength, while places like the US and the EU will see their economies continuing stagnate and decay because the few new ideas they still manage to produce are being killed in the cradle.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @06:34AM (#32663136) Homepage Journal

    And the world-wide actions against whaling ARE having an effect.

    Banning is one thing, but enforcement is another. I take it you think the Swiss navy are doing a good job?

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.