NZ Open Source Society Congratulates Government on Patents Bill Stance

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21st April 2010
For Immediate Release

The New Zealand Open Source Society has written to the Minister of Commerce, Hon. Simon Power, to congratulate the National led Government on the stance it has taken with regards to the issue of software patents. The NZOSS has long held the view that software patents are damaging to our industry as a whole, stifling innovation and creating unnecessary and unpredictable risk to this who chose to develop software. Whilst patents do have a chilling impact on the freedoms that free software developers seek to perpetuate through software licensing, the issue is one that impacts the entire industry regardless of preferred licensing models.

We have seen a groundswell of support for this position from many other organisations and individuals, including the NZ Computer Society, Internet New Zealand and New Zealand's largest exporter of software, Orion Health.

The Commerce Select Committee heard all the evidence about software patents, and in their report on the Patents Bill agreed that software should not be patentable. The Minister, Simon Power, issued a statement supporting that report.

Whilst many patent law firms have questioned the Government's position, it is clear that, in New Zealand, most of the software industry supports it. We therefore urge the Government to introduce the amended bill to The House, for its final reading, without delay.

The letter to the Minister is attached to this article.