Whether you're a PC or a Mac, whether you like the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Montreal Canadiens, or whether you like proprietary code or open-source software, there's probably one thing on which we could all agree: this world of ours is big enough to accommodate all of it; well, with the exception of New Zealand, that is.
Apparently, legislators in the land of kiwi have drafted a new Patents Bill that asserts "a computer program is not a patentable invention" due to the fact that coding and developing software does not involve any tangible "inventive step" that isn't merely anything more than a simple evolution of an existing program.
Certainly, anyone that has been watching the patent fights that have threatened to bring down the entire Research In Motion (RIM) network, or have threatened to stop Microsoft from selling the latest edition of their Office suite, can't help but wonder if all of the various patent mills out there have been allowed to wield a little too much power. But at the same time, it does seem rather harsh and ego-deflating to assert that no software should ever be patented, arguing that there isn't a single programmer in the world who has ever incorporated a patentable "inventive step" into their software design.
International patent laws definitely need updating, but I can't help but worry that individuals in the open-source community may have had a little too much influence on various New Zealand parliamentarians who might not be as technically savvy as the people who might be vilifying proprietary software to them.
Thumbs Down for Software Patents in New Zealand
New Zealand Patents Bill 235-2: Repealing and Replacing the Patents Act of 1953
Thanks to Douglas Allen for bringing this article to our attention.