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Govt backtrack on software patents damaging

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The National Government’s decision to open the way for the patenting of software will damage our high-growth software industry and stifle innovation in the sector, the Green Party said today.

The Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss, tabled in Parliament last night amendments to the Patents Bill that will, in practice, open the door to the patenting of software despite the Parliamentary Select Committee’s decision to explicitly leave software out.

"The National Government has backtracked on their earlier position of excluding software from patentability, undermining the ability of our local software industry to innovate and grow," Green Party ICT spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.

"The patenting of software by multinational giants like Microsoft, will have a chilling effect on software development here in New Zealand and hurt job creation in a high value-added industry.

"National is backing the interests of giant US multinationals over our own software industry.

"Backing US interests ahead of our own is not a smart way to run an economy.

"Craig Foss needs to withdraw his significant last minute revisions to the Patent Bill or, at the very least, send them back to Select Committee to allow for proper public scrutiny," Mr Hughes said.

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