Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th May 2013 16:26 UTC
Legal New Zealand leads the way. "The government has announced a change to planned new patent rules today which has put an end to fears that computer software might be covered by new patent protection." Also, here's the evidence that nobody (except lawyers, (un)paid company lackies, and corporate managers) wants software patents: "Matthews said a recent poll of more than 1000 Kiwi IT professionals found 94 per cent wanted to see software patents gone." Let that sink in for a while: 94%.
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In México they are banned too
by gumoz on Fri 10th May 2013 07:01 UTC
Member since:

In México software patents had been banned since day 0.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:


South africa also specifically excluded software patents in it's 1978 patent act.

(2) Anything which consists of—
(a) a discovery;
(b) a scientific theory;
(c) a mathematical method;
(d) a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation;
(e) a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business;
(f ) a program for a computer; or
(g) the presentation of information, shall not be an invention for the purposes of this Act.

Also interesting is that they also exclude patents on biological creations, which is highly controversial in the US today. I'm not sure what they had in mind with the morality clause though.

(4) A patent shall not be granted—
(a) for an invention the publication or exploitation of which would
be generally expected to encourage offensive or immoral behaviour; or
(b) for any variety of animal or plant or any essentially biological process for the production of animals or plants, not being a micro-biological process or the product of such a process.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:


South africa also specifically excluded software patents in it's 1978 patent act.

For that matter, the European Patent Convention also disallows software patents twice over.

The European Patent Convention does not provide any positive guidance on what should be considered an invention for the purposes of patent law. However, it provides a non-exhaustive list of what are not to be regarded as inventions, and therefore not patentable subject matter:

The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1:

(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

(b) aesthetic creations;

(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;

(d) presentations of information.

The European Patent Convention effectively says that patents on software should be disallowed in Europe firstly because software is a mathematical method and secondly because software is programs for computers.

This doubly-stated intention that software is not patentable subject matter is, unfortunately, almost completely ignored by many European patent offices and courts.

Edited 2013-05-10 10:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4