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New Zealand government announces that software is no longer patentable

New Zealand says software can no longer be patented

By Charles Gantt on May 9, 2013 at 11:31 am CDT - 1 min, 12 secs reading time

The New Zealand government has passed a bill that prevents software from being patented in the country any more. The New Zealand Institute of IT Professionals praised the decision saying that it would lead to innovation on a large scale.

New Zealand government announces that software is no longer patentable | TweakTown.com

The new policy was part of an amendment to the existing patent bill, which redefines three basic principles:

  1. A computer program is not an invention and not a manner of manufacture for the purposes of this Act.
  2. Subsection (1) prevents anything from being an invention or a manner of manufacture for the purposes of this Act only to the extent that a claim in a patent or an application relates to a computer program as such.
  3. A claim in a patent or an application relates to a computer program as such if the actual contribution made by the alleged invention lies solely in it being a computer program.

I see this as a major step forward and I am sure that the folks over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation are ecstatic this morning. However, not all is as it seems.

The bill still allows the patenting of software when it can be tied to a specific piece of hardware, such as Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad), or the software that runs your Samsung Smart TV. So, while this is a step in the right direction, there is still much room for improvement.

Last updated: Nov 30, -0001 at 12:00 am CST

Charles Gantt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Charles Gantt

A web developer by day, Charles comes to TweakTown after a short break from the Tech Journalism world. Formerly the Editor in Chief at TheBestCaseScenario, he now writes Maker and DIY content. Charles is a self proclaimed Maker of Things and is a major supporter of the Maker movement. In his free time, Charles likes to build just about anything, with past projects ranging from custom PC cooling control systems to 3D printers. Other expensive addictions include Photography, Astronomy and Home Automation.

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