In 2010, a Select Committee unanimously recommended that software be excluded from patentability. Clause 10A(1) of the Patents Bill will achieve this.
Unfortunately, the Government has decided to add clause 10A(2) at the last minute. While intended to preserve the availability of patents for inventions containing embedded software, this clause actually undermines the intended exclusion of software patents.
In order to preserve the exclusion of software patents, but still preserve patents for inventions containing embedded software, we request the following replacement for clause 10A(2) of the Patents Bill:
10A(2): Subsection (1) does not prevent an invention that makes use of an embedded computer program from being patentable.
This change fulfils these crucial requirements:
- it preserves the Select Committee's unanimous recommendation that software be excluded from patentability.
- it ensures that patents are still available for inventions containing embedded software, such as Fisher & Paykel washing machines.
- it avoids the controversial, counter-productive and unwanted "as such" proviso in the current clause 10A(2).
If you agree with the proposed remedy, and you are a New Zealander-based software developer or a supporter, please add your signature to the list using the form below.