06.24.10

New Zealand’s Legislation Regarding Software Patents Shows That the US is the Boss

Posted in America, IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

World Map patents
The software patents “red threat”

Summary: New Zealand is the latest island to be colonised by the USPTO (headed by an IBM veteran), using lobbyists for multinationals who impose their will upon a vastly-outnumbered local population

WHO is responsible for the latest travesty in New Zealand? Let’s begin this from the top. People in New Zealand are not just outnumbered by sheep; they are also outweighed by drones from the United States based on the latest news. Here we have a video which was recently uploaded to YouTube. It hopefully sheds light on the situation which we covered many times this year.


The bad news from New Zealand was probably first covered by IDG, which cited NZICT — a lobbying group whose agenda and funding we exposed in previous posts [1, 2, 3, 4]. The “NZ” in “NZICT” easily gives the illusion that it’s actually about New Zealand, as opposed to multinationals (mostly from the United States).

Software patents, apparently on the way to being ruled out for New Zealand after a Select Committee decision on the Patents Bill, might not be completely excluded after all.

The committee earlier this year inserted a clause in the second-reading copy of the Bill [Section 15(3A)] reading simply “a computer program is not a patentable invention.”

On June 9 there was a meeting between Ministry of Economic Development (MED) officials and a delegation of local and international software companies led by Brett O’Riley of industry lobby NZICT Group.

Glyn Moody described this as “scandalous backroom dealing (note presence of Microsoft and IBM)” and NZICT must be just one of the culprits he referred to. Law firms in New Zealand said “yes” to software patents, whereas software developers (not just Free software developers) said “no”, as usual. It’s a battle between monopolies (and their lawyers) and actual developers everywhere we look, even in Europe.

Regarding this latest development, the president of the FFII wrote: “New Zealand to copy EPO, and pass a law that does not exclude software patents, for decoration only”

“Many would welcome a comment on IBM’s role in advocating for software patents in New Zealand.”
      –Simon Phipps
Later on he pointed out that “Big Multinationals will write software patent law in NZ” based on the quote which says: “our group will be working on developing this for submission”

Amazing.

So software patents are voted on not by people of New Zealand, who have no control over their laws, either. Simon Phipps has written to IBM’s Bob Sutor, asking: “Many would welcome a comment on IBM’s role in advocating for software patents in New Zealand. Can you help?”

Red Hat’s Wildeboer, who used to lobby against software patents along with other software Freedom proponents, writes: “Somehow I already expect a giant rant from Florian Mueller on this”

Wildeboer is right. Müller already uses his Slashdot account (which he resumed using some months ago) to say: “Simon Phipps, former chief open source executive of Sun Microsystems, has just asked IBM’s open source VP Bob Sutor via Twitter (with a reference to this very slashdot story) to clarify IBM’s role in lobbying for software patents in New Zealand. It will be interesting to see Bob Sutor’s response, should there ever be one.

“When it comes to patents, IBM stands for International Bullying Machines”

Here is the summary submitted to Slashdot by Ciaran:

ciaran_o_riordan writes “Due to lobbying by a group called NZICT, New Zealand’s parliament is now set to let go of its proposal to ban software patents. Patent attorney Steven Lundberg announced the details in a blog entry. This was quickly deleted, but not before it got stored in Google’s cache. Here we can read that ‘Hon Simon Power has asked MED [Ministry of Economic Development] to work with the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to redraft the section along the lines of the European Patent Convention.’ Which is exactly the opposite of March’s announcement that ‘computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques.’ The background to this case gives every reason to be hopeful, if computer users in New Zealand get active again.”

Ciaran’s pages on the subject [1, 2] ought to give some background information too. The news from New Zealand is celebrated by some sort of a lobbying blog for software patents (which took down the original post):

New Zealand looks like its reversing course on software patent protection. On June 9, there was a meeting between representatives of NZ Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and representatives of NZICT Group. It appears that New Zealand is likely to ultimately adopt an approach to software patents that is consistent with the EPO’s position. My thanks to Jim Hallenbeck (Schwegman) and Paik Saber (IBM) for relaying this information.

Here is the summary of the meeting provided by Brett O’Riley CEO of NZICT:

Our representative delegation met with MED in Wellington yesterday. This was to discuss the formal submission we had made to Hon Simon Power last week covering our concerns about the proposed draft legislation.

Over a Twitter, the president of the FFII states: “NZ patent lawyer mentions that software patents are legal in Germany, thanks to the Microsoft FAT decision”

The FFII’s president links to the lobbyists above (“patents4software.com”), specifically one of their first posts, which was about FAT.

“American lawyers are free to mess with their own domestic laws,” states the FFII’s own account. Yes, it comes from the US, interfering with other people’s laws in other countries. It’s almost as though the law of New Zealand is being written by Americans. TechDirt too calls them lobbyists:

There was widespread happiness among software developers a few months back, when it was announced that New Zealand had decided to explicitly ban software patents. Of course, it didn’t take long for a lobbying campaign to kick off from those opposed to this provision, and it appears the lobbying was effective, such that software patents will now be allowed — though, they will still be somewhat limited (as they are in Europe). So, it’s not quite as bad as the situation in the US. A New Zealand patent attorney posted a letter from the head of the lobbying group discussing this shift. While that blog post has since been deleted, as of this posting Google still has the cache.

Citizens of New Zealand should protest. Their patent laws have just been hijacked by foreign interests which will hurt local software developers, including Free software developers. It’s bad for the population as a whole.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/1/2021: Stable Kernels and Sudo Bugfixes

    Links for the day



  2. Showing Solidarity With FSFE Survivors

    What does justice look like?



  3. IBM is Throwing Away Red Hat's 'de Facto Standard' Status in Servers, Wrongly Assuming People Can't (or Won't) Go Elsewhere

    This new video is over half an hour long and it’s a discussion of IBM’s self-harming (shot-in-the-foot) move, which it already seems to regret



  4. Why 6 Screens and 6 Virtual Desktops

    An explanation of how I use computers and how I distribute tasks (across screens and across virtual desktops)



  5. Red Hat Developer Network Promoting Microsoft's Proprietary Software, Sometimes by Mass-Mailing People

    Red Hat is doing a disservice to people who subscribe to E-mail newsletters; those people are almost never into Microsoft's proprietary software, which they want to get away from



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 26, 2021



  7. Links 26/1/2021: Mozilla Firefox 85.0, Tails 4.15, Zentyal Server 7.0, GNOME 40 Alpha

    Links for the day



  8. Instead of Making Access to COVID-19 Solutions Easier Bill Gates Has Made It Harder (Patent Profits)

    Counterproductively — and at a great cost to human civilisation — Bill Gates has once again put profits and monopoly ahead of global goals such as collective health



  9. We Need More Documents Leaked to Know Intel (From the) Inside

    We invite more leaks from the belly of the beast "chipzilla", seeing that it is becoming a drone of Microsoft again, yearning for the "Wintel" days instead of moving on to a world dominated by GNU/Linux and Free/libre software



  10. Why GNU/Linux Users (and the Public at Large) Should Support Leaking/Whistleblowing Sites (Including Wikileaks)

    To demonstrate the value of "scientific journalism" (a term apparently coined by Wikileaks) we take a look at Red Hat's response to embarrassing leaks (demonstrating what a scam their certification and examination programmes really are)



  11. EPO President António Campinos is Still Not Listening, According to Internal EPO Documents

    Increasingly arrogant and unaccountable management of Europe's second-largest institution (EPO) has left staff disillusioned but still defiant; there's clearly unsuitable or unfit-for-purpose management at the EPO, self-selecting based on nepotism/loyalty so as to cover up abuses



  12. Why You Should Give Falkon (the Web Browser) a Chance on GNU/Linux, BSD, or Windows

    In this crazy new world where advertisers are the real customers and Web users ("audiences") have been reduced to mere products we need a browser that isn't controlled by a company; try Falkon



  13. Kluwer Patent Spin and Distortion of Facts (Regarding UPC and More)

    Kluwer Patent Blog disgraces the firm that puts its name on it; instead of sticking to facts they're distorting the facts and the sole/principal goal is to manipulate/mislead the public and public servants



  14. Links 26/1/2021: 4MLinux 35.1, GParted 1.2, Gnuastro 0.14

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 25, 2021



  16. It's Wrong to Assume Red Hat Competes With Microsoft

    The community ought to stop pretending that one monopoly seeks to replace another despite close partnerships (some would say "collusion") between the two



  17. EPO Staff Representation Complains That EPO Management Exploits Pandemic and 'House Arrests' to Overwork Staff, Lower Quality

    The EPO keeps breaking its promises to workers; not only are key employees seeing their net salary cut (inflation factored in) but pensioners too are being robbed and in the meantime the total time spent on work is increasing



  18. Fake News is Not a 'Wing' Thing

    The two-party corporate-led system (and media) would have us obsess/bicker about accuracy of news based on some binary/dual system of blind loyalty rather than underlying facts and priorities



  19. Links 25/1/2021: Huawei on GNU/Linux, NuTyX 20.12.1, Whisker Menu 2.5.3, Lutris 0.5.8.3, Linux 5.11 RC5

    Links for the day



  20. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in ZDNet is the Norm

    ZDNet continues to emit lots of garbage 'journalism', in effect Microsoft PR and what's known as "black PR" for Linux; just like Bleeping Computer, which ZDNet hired this writer from, there's no adherence to facts, just smears and innuendo



  21. Truth Tellers Aren't an Enemy of Free Software

    There's a perpetual attack on people who speak out against actors and corporations in positions of great power, however subtle and indirect those attacks may seem on the surface (they don't wish to be held accountable for defaming activists)



  22. The Linux Foundation, With Over 124 Million Dollars in Annual Revenue, is in Trouble Because of the Pandemic, So It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as Training and Certifications Outfit

    With mountains of cash and a Public Relations (PR) or marketing business model the so-called 'Linux' Foundation became reliant on travel, lodging, booths and speeches on sale; COVID-19 is a great risk to that business model



  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 24, 2021



  24. Our Move Further Away From the World Wide Web, the Browser Monopolies, HTTP, and HTML

    The World Wide Web (WWW) is going down a bad path and a clearly regressive direction; the solution isn't going 'retro' but exploring more sophisticated systems which are robust to censorship (localised or globalised) and downtime (related to censorship) while reducing surveillance by leveraging encryption at the endpoints



  25. Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

    here's corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored



  26. Internet Origins of the Mob

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  27. When Proprietary Software Users Dictate the Freedom-Leaning Communities

    Fedora doesn't care about software freedom and its steward (or parent company) is sometimes imposing proprietary software on staff; they've quit caring



  28. In 2020 Onwards 'Open Source' is Just a Marketing Ploy of Monopolies, Unlike Free Software

    More people are nowadays seeing or witnessing 'Open Source' for what it truly is; the term has become a misleading marketing term of proprietary software firms looking to rebrand as "ethical" (e.g. by sharing some code with other proprietary software firms, over proprietary platforms such as GitHub)



  29. Microsoft: The Year After We Bought GitHub There Was a Significant Decline in Number of New Projects on GitHub

    Microsoft has just admitted that in 2019 GitHub saw a very significant decline in number of new projects (and users, which it is conveniently miscounting by adding 'phantom' ones) on the site. Just what we had heard before they confirmed it (and they foresaw this effect of the takeover, hence the lies about "loving" Linux).



  30. Social Control Media is a Passing Fad, We Should All Go Back to Blogging and Subscribing to RSS Feeds

    The whole "social control media" phenomenon has been oversold or promoted using lies; in reality, as a mountain of evidence serves to show, it's a way to manage society at a macro scale


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts