• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

New Zealand Government Announces That Software Will No Longer Be Patentable

Adam Howard

Well-known member
#2
Outstanding (y)

If you know your world history, you'll note that we had a period of mass growth and mass development. We went from camp fire to light bulb, from walking to flying, and much more... Then we come to almost a near stop.

Copyright and patents stubbed our growth. I can't argue that new things are not invented, because they are. But people sit on them for years with copyrights & patents which prevent anyone else from stepping forward.

The ownership of ideals maybe profitable for some, but it does not benefit us as a whole.
 

Liam W

Well-known member
#5
Wait, does this mean that all software can basically be copied in certain ways?

Sorry for my ignorance, don't really know how patents work...
 

Adam Howard

Well-known member
#6
Wait, does this mean that all software can basically be copied in certain ways?

Sorry for my ignorance, don't really know how patents work...
Yes and no.

For example;

If another start up forum software company wanted to have a like button, post, reply, and upload button.... A larger company couldn't file suite claiming they own the patents to such features. It would now (at least in New Zealand) be dismissed because you can't claim such patents to software.

You can't own the idea. (y)

Because the concept ideas for software are no longer patentable (in New Zealand); basic concept ideas are now essentially "open" for further growth and development (in regards to software).

But I don't imagine they would let someone simply re-brand and re-name a 100% exact copy. Some kind of innovation would still need to apply.

I'd love it if they expanded this beyond just software. New Zealand would have a sudden "boom" in growth and development.
 

Jason

Well-known member
#7
Nice, but it's fairly easy for NZ to not recognize software patents categorically, as they're not a major export for them. As much as I'd like the U.S. to follow suit, we're a much bigger exporter of patented software tech, and that's going to carry a lot of weight with policymakers. The situation is slightly better in the UK and EU, but actual enforcement is key.

The recent ruling The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit handed down for the CLS Bank v. Alice case shows just how much of a cluster**** this issue is here (i.e., even they can't agree on what's patentable), but has helped set the stage for a reasonable decision by the Supreme Court on the issue. We shall see...

But back to the topic, inducing someone to infringe a patent that is valid in the U.S. by importing (i.e., downloading) your product in the U.S. is itself infringement. So, it's still entirely possible for NZ companies to face civil penalties. IIRC, NZ civil law allows NZ courts to enforce such judgements if it doesn't relate to taxes. And if you're using a payment system based in the U.S., well they can get you there too. Not that I necessarily agree with any of this, but NZ companies will most likely still have to license such tech (especially if they own U.S. assets) if they want to sell their stuff to U.S. citizens, at least.
 

Jason

Well-known member
#9
If it's anything like what Mega came up with, no thanks!

Also, if you're using the existing certificate authorities, there's nothing stopping your government from quietly "obtaining" the CA certs and signing keys to perform MITM attacks. We need to fix the CA trust problem before encrypting half the Internet.

Anyway, this guy is no hero or even necessarily a good person, but he does raise some valid concerns.