Well in New Zealand at least. Today Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced the proposed amendment (Download available here (PDF)) to the Patents Bill that is currently before Parliament.
Great News for an Emerging Market!
From a Software Developer perspective, this is great news. Being a very small player in an emerging market I now no longer need to be as concerned that I will grow a successful business, only to be shut down further down the track when I become noticeable and someone decides to litigate over a software patent issue.
Protecting my IP or Abuse of Software Patents?
While I respect everyone’s rights to protect their Intellectual Property, I (like others) feel that software patents are being abused and no longer serve the purpose to which they were originally intended. The only people being positively affected by software patents are the lawyers that are able to drum up business at the click of a button (Of course only in a certain way, as some methods and actions associated with clicking a button are covered by patents already :P)
New Zealand, International Software Innovation Hub?
The explosion of patent litigation internationally (especially in the United States) has made the patent systems in their respective countries an innovation stifling juggernaut. A potential outcome of the proposed law change in New Zealand may see us become an innovation destination, with international developers migrating to our shores where they can innovate more freely.
- New Zealand Government Announces That Software Will No Longer Be Patentable (forbes.com)
- Software will not be patentable in New Zealand (nzherald.co.nz)
- Software removed from Patents Bill (stuff.co.nz)
- IT Professionals support removal of Software Patents (iitp.org.nz)