Summary: The Pirate Party of Australia uses its influence to keep software patents out of Australia (although Australia is already not too resistant to software patenting)
EARLIER THIS year the Pirate Party of New Zealand pointed its finger at Microsoft for pro-software patents lobbying and the famous founder of the original pirate party (who had worked for Microsoft) attacked patents even more broadly a few months ago.
We now find that the Pirate Party of Australia also gets involved:
It seems anger about software patents is really coming to a head.
The Pirate Party published its submission to the government’s Review of the Innovation Patent System.
The system was introduced in 2001 to help innovation in Australian small to medium-sized businesses, enabling them to protect low-level innovation by lowering the threshold of inventiveness required for patent protection.
However, the government decided to hold a review of the system after concerns were raised about it; for example, it was simply being used as a placeholder while companies sought a real patent, or that it was difficult to prove that such patents weren’t original, instead taking advantage of someone else’s work. Software is currently included in the type of products that can be awarded an innovation patent.
These patents currently include software. One of the questions raised by the review was whether software ought to be excluded from being awarded an innovation patent.
The Pirate Party said that an expansion of the patent system such as the innovation patent, which provides easy patentability of incremental innovations, was “no solution to the plague of issues that the patent system causes”.
Indeed, the party did not limit itself to criticism of the innovation patent, but launched into a set of arguments as to why software ought to be left out of the patent system altogether.
It is important to build strong opposition to software patents, especially in nations that have not caught the software patents bug. Companies like Intel and Microsoft keep working hard to turn other countries’ laws into enemies of those countries’ own people, for the benefit of multinationals with massive patent portfolios. █