Red Alert

Is the Govt trading away our tech sector’s ideas?

Posted by on February 15th, 2013

Pat Pilcher has written another good piece in the NZ Herald about the looming changes to NZ’s patent laws which could have provided a serious kickstart to oru software industry, but which won’t becasue of a stupid last minute amendment by Commerce Minister Craig Foss who has been heavied by the multinational software comapnies. And our own Ministries.

He writes:

The hope held out by many was that software would be excluded from being covered by patents, however it now appears that the government is likely to change patent legislation so that software can be patented.

Even though the Commerce Select Committee and numerous industry experts have all recommended that software be excluded from patentability, amendments made to the bill after pressure was placed on the government could be sufficiently vague that software could end up being patented.

This, say the experts, would provide large lawyered-up multinationals with a means of tying smaller kiwi software developers up in court, effectively stunting our home-grown software industry.

Indications are that even though the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) had agreed that software should be excluded from patents and were confident that this wouldn’t impact on trade treaties, sources indicate that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (who are currently in the midst of negotiating the trans pacific partnership trade agreement) are said to now be somewhat less enthusiastic about excluding software from patents.

Read more here


One Response to “Is the Govt trading away our tech sector’s ideas?”

  1. PlanetOrphan says:

    Patents are about big corporations taking an employees ideas and selling them. The original “genius” rarely gets anything other than a salary.

    If you are serious about protecting your ideas then you are much better off doing it all for yourself, think it through and make sure the true context of the knowledge is protected before approaching anyone else about said idea.

    Think about Intel and AMD and the court battles , Apple and SamSung etc etc, those are big money corprates trying to corner a market, it’s got nothing to do with the “Inventor” and just recompense for their Ideas.

    If you want to protect your software you should be encrypting it. It’s an easy thing to do.

    If a big corporate wants to steal it they will, the only recourse being a court dispute, i.e big money.

    Patents are all about the court battle, not the people who created the Idea/Concept.

    And does anyone really think the Gnats will stand by the lowly software engineer that developed it ?

    What’s in it for us will be the refrain the engineer hears.

    If the education department does it to 15 year old students without repercussion then the corporate world will only be worse.