Software will be unpatentable. YES!

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#1 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Post icon  Posted 15 July 2010 - 05:22 AM

New Zealand will be passing a bill that basically nullifies patents when it comes to software:


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Despite what appears to be a big-budget lobbying effort by the pro-patent fraternity, Hon Simon Power announced today that he wouldn't be modifying the proposed Patents Bill hence software will be unpatentable once the Bill passes into law.



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Make no mistake, the intellectual property contained in software should be protected. However Copyright provides significant protection, as per other similar activities. The very nature of software should preclude it from patentability in our view.


This is great news and New Zealand will become a great place to develop software. :)

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#2 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 05:46 AM

I was kind of hopeful for US news (our Supreme Court just had a case about this where patents were upheld), but grats NZ.
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#3 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 05:48 AM

Excellent news. I wonder what it would be like now if it was like this from the beginning... none of the court cases between MS and Apple would have happened! Actually... things might not be as technological advanced... because they would not be trying to better each other as much - as as soon as one betters the other, they would legally have used the same techniques.
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#4 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:13 AM

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I dont get why this is good news? I actually would be rather upset if that happened in the US. That would mean if I spent years (and a crap load of money) to create something never done then I couldn't patent it, I think this makes New Zealand a horrible place to develop software in
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#5 Valek  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:30 AM

I agree with PsychoCoder. Spend a pile of money, lots of time and effort into developing something new and unique, and not only can you not patent it, but if someone steals your work, they then have as much right to use it as you do, and they didn't have to spend anything to get it!
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#6 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:01 AM

Hmm it is a hard decision... I completely agree with PyschoCoder, but I also strongly agree that Open Source is the way to go.
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#7 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:04 AM

View PostPsychoCoder, on 15 July 2010 - 08:13 AM, said:

I dont get why this is good news? I actually would be rather upset if that happened in the US. That would mean if I spent years (and a crap load of money) to create something never done then I couldn't patent it, I think this makes New Zealand a horrible place to develop software in


I disagree. With things set like this, businesses will be more willing to engage in R&D as they don't have to look over their shoulders every seconds to check for patent trolls sneaking up on them.

This is a great thing and it means software development will become more and more of a competition between houses in NZ.

@Shane this has nothing to do with open source of code. It's about patents. For example, the pinch function that most Apple products have can now be created by anyone who wants to in NZ. Which makes sense, right? If you think something is a neat idea, you should be able to develop it and if it works, sell it.

No one is talking about stealing source code or even copying open source projects.

This post has been edited by stapia.gutierrez: 15 July 2010 - 07:06 AM

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#8 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:12 AM

View Poststapia.gutierrez, on 15 July 2010 - 05:04 AM, said:

I disagree. With things set like this, businesses will be more willing to engage in R&D as they don't have to look over their shoulders every seconds to check for patent trolls sneaking up on them.


Actually I think it will stifle R & D as companies in that country know their idea can be stolen at a moments notice and they cannot do a thing about it. What's the use of spending millions to invent something if someone can just come along and steal it, I know if I lived there I would probably change professions.
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#9 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:17 AM

Psycho, so you think since Apple patented the pinch function it's fair that you cannot create something like that using your own code and wits?
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#10 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 07:19 AM

I think they spent the money and time creating something new that I shouldn't be allowed to come along and copy it. If a company spends the time & money to create something new they should have the right to protect it
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#11 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:17 AM

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Gratz Kiwis!

View PostPsychoCoder, on 15 July 2010 - 07:13 AM, said:

I dont get why this is good news? I actually would be rather upset if that happened in the US. That would mean if I spent years (and a crap load of money) to create something never done then I couldn't patent it


Don't confuse patent with copyright. Patent is designed to protect an inventor of something new. It's always been debatable that this should ever apply to software. How exactly can you say something written to run on an already existing machine, using already an existing architecture, is an original invention?

The idea may be novel, that's at idea. Try apply the argument of years and money to a movie or a book. You can't patten those, it sounds absurd.

Years spent writing software results in software that would take tremendous effort to reproduce. Your investment in effort should not stop me from trying do the same thing. If I just copy your effort, then copyright takes effect.

Patents in the US are crippling innovation. The system is desperately in need of an over haul.

That a Patent Troll can even exist in an free society is shameful. That the US offers an environment for such scum to thrive is embarrassing.

More here, for those unaware of the issues: Why Software Patents are Bad!
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#12 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:17 AM

Stop. Copyright laws still exist. Have you ever used a LinkedList?

Then you've broken software patent law.

Edit: Baavgai beat me to it. Well said.

Double edit: LinkedList Patent

This post has been edited by xclite: 15 July 2010 - 08:21 AM

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#13 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:30 AM

Just a warning... this is a HEATED topic and I don't want peoples emotions to get the best of them. Post facts, and back up your opinions. No name calling, or other off-topic banter.
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#14 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:58 AM

Completely agree with Baavgai, you shouldn't be able to patent a software approach. Sometimes you follow logical steps to solve an issue and woops! "It's patented, sucks to be you!" It's terrible. :[
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#15 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software will be unpatentable. YES!

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:09 AM

I think you're confusing patents and copyright. A coding "problem" is different than an idea I think.

Patents cover ideas.
Copyrights cover the actual code.

I think it is completely fair for a company to be able to patent an idea. Apple should have all the right in the world to patent multi-touch. Any company could have come up with the idea and implemented it before them. They had the idea, and they implemented it.

I do have a problem with companies that register patents, then squat on them, never implementing them.

An idea can be improved upon by a very small amount and registered as a new patent. That's how products are improved upon.

I'd rather see the government removing patents from DISEASES. Companies can patent a human gene responsible for a specific disease which makes it so nobody else can research a cure for that disease.

Companies are not patenting a problem, they are patenting just 1 solution. This should encourage other companies to come up with new and better solutions. Patents encourage companies to develop new technologies because they can profit from them for a period of time. If patents to solutions like multi-touch didn't exist. What would Apple's motivation be to implement multi-touch, just so every other touch phone on the market could have the same technology? Patents are what sets products and companies apart and spur innovation.

On the flip side however, I'm sure there have been many patents granted that are far to broad and do discourage innovation because they are too overarching.
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