Australia: legislation still coming

A reminder: The Australian government will propose new legislation about the patentability of software this year. The progress in New Zealand, and the Australian government Department for Innovation’s doubts about software patents indicate that organised people can make a difference. Below is the info I’ve gathered so far.

The good news is that the Venturous Australia report, commissioned by the Department for Innovation in 2008, has this to say about software patents:

In this regard, particularly in new areas of patenting such as software and business methods, there is strong evidence that existing intellectual property arrangements are hampering innovation.

If someone could skim that report for other relevant quotes and add them to the wiki page, that would be a great help.

The bad news is that the government then held a consultation, through their Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP), and the only reply from a software developer was from Microsoft. There were also a bunch of lawyers responding, saying that everything should be patentable. A few university people replied too, also saying that everything should be patentable. The consultation was not specific to software and most of the respondents were thinking about genes, pharmaceuticals, or other things.

ACIP "expects to provide a final report to the Australian Government in July 2010".(source)

In any case, the consultation announcement didn’t reach anyone who will bear the costs or will suffer the restrictions and bureaucracy of patents on software. That means someone (you) will have to do that before the government proposes something really harmful.

ESP has set up a mailing list for Australia. It’s not yet being used, but it’s there and everyone’s welcome: australia-public-discuss @endsoftwarepatents.org

Here are the en.swpat.org pages about Australia:

It’s a publicly editable wiki, help sought.