NZICT (who’s NZICT?) reports that they convinced the politician in charge of the Patents Bill, Hon Simon Power, to do a u-turn and open the floodgates for software patents. The report was posted on a patent lawyer’s blog, then deleted, but copies have been mirrored:
More details below. People in NZ will have to work on this to prevent a catastrophe.
Here’s a quote from the deleted blog entry:
Hon Simon Power has asked MED to work with the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to redraft the section along the lines of the European Patent Convention.
[…]it was very pleasing to have a positive indication that the Government recognises there is a need to amend section 15(3A) to make sure it’s consistent with the intent of adopting European practice.
The current plan is to bring in wording similar to the European Patent Convention. The outcome of this wording in Europe is that the EPO grants software patents such as:
- pop-up context menus (EP249293)
- trapping computer viruses (EP769170)
- MS’ FAT filename generation (EP0618540)
This lobbying from NZICT is particularly strange when a survey at NZCS found 80% of its membership against software patents.
- NZICT – unwarranted influence on Software Patents?, by Dave Lane
- For background: en.swpat.org info about New Zealand
- en.swpat.org: NZICT – who are they?
- New Zealand govt against software patents! – news from March 31st
- A screenshot of the blog entry in case Google’s cache expires