Patent Absurdity: how software patents broke the system
Against the backdrop of of the current Bilski case in the US Supreme Court, the film features a series of interviews explaining the absurdity of software patents and how we got into this mess.
In light of the recent decision by a select committee that software should NOT be patentable in New Zealand, the WLUG committee decided that this would be a good time to screen this film, and discuss some of the issues surrounding software patents.
Patentable Inventions: We Recommend amending clause 15 to include computer programs among inventions that may not be patented. We received many submissions concerning the patentability of computer programs. Under the Patents Act 1953 computer programs can be patented in New Zealand provided the produce a commercially useful effect. Open Source, or free, software has grown in popularity since the 1980s. Protecting software by patenting is inconsistent with the open source model, and its proponents oppose it. A number of submitters argued that there is no "inventive step" in software development, as 'new' software invariably builds on existing software. They felt that computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition. In general we accept this position.
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