New Zealand has finally passed a new Patents Bill that will effectively outlaw software patents after five years of debate, delay and intense lobbying from multinational software vendors.
Aptly-named Commerce Minister Craig Foss welcomed the modernisation of patents law, saying it marked a “significant step towards driving innovation in New Zealand”.
“By clarifying the definition of what can be patented, we are giving New Zealand businesses more flexibility to adapt and improve existing inventions, while continuing to protect genuine innovations,” Foss said.
It’s too bad that – no matter how awesome New Zealand is – they’re a very small player, much like my own country. Still, change has to start somewhere, and this is at least something.