Co-signers Admin Page

We, the undersigned:

  • believe that innovation is hindered, not helped, by software patents;
  • believe that the current clause 10A(2) of the Patents Bill undermines the exclusion of software patents;
  • request that Commerce Minister Craig Foss alter the Supplementary Order Paper for the Patents Bill currently awaiting its second reading before NZ Parliament to read as follows:
    10A(2): Subsection (1) does not prevent an invention that makes use of an embedded computer program from being patentable.
# Comment
1 Dave Lane Egressive I'm submitting this as a representative of Egressive (software development firm) but also in my roles as NZRise founding member and NZOSS president.
2 Jonathan Hunt HuntDesign It's weak and short-sighted that MED and Craig Foss have chosen to support the lobbying of Microsoft and IBM instead of indigenous software developers.
3 Paul Ramsay NZRise NZRise, the industry body representing New Zealand-owned and operated digital technology companies, does not support the inclusion of software patents in the proposed changes to the Patents Bill, and believes that these changes will discourage invention and constrain innovation in New Zealand.
4 Reece Arnott University of Otago (student)
5 Nilesh "Nevyn" Hira sole trader
6 Matthew Hamilton Dwyer Dwyer Consulting My works should belong to me, not to some faceless patent troll.
7 Blair McBride Mozilla
8 Joel Wirāmu Pauling Ænertia.net Consulting
9 John Egenes Otago University
10 Paul Matthews Institute of IT Professionals NZ Software patents have proven to be a major hindrance to innovation in many jurisdictions around the world, including to some of New Zealand's most internationally successful software companies. The Commerce Select Committee unanimously agreed to exclude software from patentability in New Zealand, a move strongly supported by the clear majority of the kiwi software industry. If the recent 11th hour move by Commerce Minister Craig Foss to overrule this and allow software patents through the back door goes through unchanged, a huge opportunity for New Zealand will be lost.
11 Lawrence Lau (individual) This is the digital equivalent of the ACC. Just as the govt replaced medical misadventure, this will remove the litigation menace of non-performing-entities (which one study noted cost business $332billion over 4 years in US) as well as protect independent discovery.
12 Brent Wood PC Resources
13 Janice Denney Sole Trader
14 Paul Campbell Moonbase Otago
15 David Moore LinuxSoftware
16 William Gordon Personal/Supporter
17 Daniel Reurich Centurion Computer Technology (2005) Ltd
18 William James Irwin Sole Trader
19 Jaco van der Merwe Workshop Enterprises Ltd We (the local entities) followed the due process though the select committee & engaged with our government in good faith through the prescribed channels, stating our case & backing it up with factual evidence in order to convince decision-makers of our position. The subversion of this process following closed-door shenanigans & influences by extra-national entities that may not have our best interest at heart borders on corruption & has no place in the New Zealand legislative landscape.
20 David Nind Individual
21 Pikiora Wylie Librarian We have the opportunity to lead the world here, and become a haven for software companies around the world. Don't let it slip away.
22 Eugene Manko MagicSunrise
23 Philip Arndt Philip Arndt
24 Joel Pitt Demand Analytics Labs Ltd. I've written software since I was 5. Copyright is sufficient for software, remove "as such" and put NZ back on top of the global software development game (instead of a pawn to international corporate interests).
25 Hadley Rich nice technology
26 David ten Have Ponoko
27 J. Reuben Brown private As a former scientist and former R&D Tax Credits adviser for the Inland Revenue Department I was privileged to be exposed to the internal workings for innovation process and products from a variety of software companies (both NZ and foreign owned). From this, it is apparent to me that most (if not all) of the potentially "patentable" innovations in the software industry are either incremental technology changes, obvious to competent professionals and often even laymen (such as Amazon's "one-click" patent). Often their "competitive advantage", patentable in other jurisdictions, does not even often involve genuine technology breakthroughs but rather aesthetics/layout (see Samsung's/Apples recent cases). This is not to belittle the enormous complexity and difficulty of modern software development but most software products do not rely on new or novel concepts. Rather, IT and Computer science allows the application of existing techniques from their own disciplines and others that were known to be soluble but were previously intractably complex to solve -by hand-. The solution was known, the process for creating the solution was known. All that was lacking was the resources, hardware, market demand or willpower to implement it. "As such", most software products are innovative (i.e. successfully taken to market) but not novel, new or non-obvious. As is the underlying IT/Computer Science technology. The danger in the use of the terms like "as such" is that they provide capable legal minds with a creative option to bend the rules, or worse, to obfuscate until opposition either gives up or runs out of resources to counter-argue. In my time with the IRD i saw this attempted numerous times with the R&D Tax Credit. This is despite the fact that this was a "limited offer", repealed, piece of legislation based on best-practise from overseas with the year-long experiences from those jurisdictions. Tellingly, those countries (Canada, the USA and UK especially) had enormous problems with software claims, as almost all software companies confuse R&D (the development of new and/or novel technologies) with software development (incremental and obvious development from known concepts/technologies). This fact alone should provide a warning of the situation likely to arise from broad-brush software patents. In fact, it would be a better situation if all and any patents relating to software were prevented. Given the extremely short life cycles for software, the dubiousness of novelty/non-obviousness in this sphere and the fledgling but accelerating importance of software for this country it is likely that an "open door" for software patents will result in the destruction of an industry that is becoming exponentially more important for our countries economy. Our bread and butter, our backbone, will always be primary industries, but in the future software will both pay for our luxuries and increase the productivity of these primary industries by providing them with access to concepts from other disciplines to improve their responsiveness to market demands and ability to identify inefficiencies (for example). Unlike agriculture, pharmaceutical, medical etc industries, the software industry does not need and should not have 20 year protection of its products: most are not based on years of costly and risky R&D, new concepts are implementable in weeks-to-months, will become outdated in a few years and, to repeat, are generally neither non-obvious nor novel. Most fundamentally, the introduction of this type of protection could potentially allow any company to inhibit competitive enterprise and monopolize sectors, to the detriment of the market and the nation as a whole. Finally, the National party states that "Competitive enterprise" is one of its policies, the Labour party equally believes that "All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres", the Green Party wants to "Build the Local Economy" and the ACT party states "lighter regulations make the country more attractive to workers and investors alike." The inclusion of the nebulous and questionable term "as such" will create an exploitable loophole and will inevitably result in all of the aforementioned policies being untenable in the IT sector of the economy. In its current form, this bill will violate the principles and policies of all these parties, be undemocratic by the measures of both the left and right wings of the house and have enormous costly consequences for the economy of New Zealand.
28 Vikram Kumar InternetNZ As such this change demonstrates the Government does not understand the linkage between patents and business, jobs and economic growth. To pass new legislation that requires courts to interpret what the Government is unwilling to say imposes huge costs on New Zealand. What a wasted opportunity to let software devs get on with the job of making the world a better place.
29 Cleave Pokotea Tumunu
30 Timothy Wayper Wunderbear Software Ltd
31 Anton Angelo Personal Software patents have the perverse impact of stifling innovation and creativity. Opposition to them is not some anarchistic anti-authoritarian reflex, but a reasoned position balancing the greater good with the right to profit from your inventions.
32 Damian Jown Wheeler sole trader We don't need a similar Apple vs Samsung debacle happening ever again. Close the door on that now!
33 Wulf Solter Wulf Solter
34 Michael Gauland self
35 Guy Burgess LawFlow Ltd You know something is askew when the main proponent of software patents in New Zealand is not the NZ creative technology industry, but patent attorneys.
36 Kent Chenery SQL Concepts Limited
37 Anne Bilek Sole trader
38 Thomas Burge sole
39 Bayard Randel University of Otago Software patents create barriers to competition and hurt both the consumer and industry. End the madness!
40 Nicholas Phillips sole trader

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