Bonum Certa Men Certa

Clare Curran (New Zealand Parliament) Pressures Her Government to Reveal Whether TPP Acts as a Trojan Horse for Software Patents

Clare Curran

Summary: Actions for and against software patents, in New Zealand which is still resisting them and in the US where patent parasites hope to spread these to other countries

SEVERAL days ago we wrote about signs, based on new leaks, that TPP would enforce software patents, forcibly making a huge number of nations receptive to them. It's a clever, secret way to marginalise resistors and antagonists of an insane patent policy which welcomes trolls and crushes software startups. We mentioned how this related to New Zealand, where such concerns had been raised during late summer (of 2015). We wrote about this extensively at the time.

"Patent lawyers know that the fight against software patents is nowadays gathering steam (UPC and TPP notwithstanding), so they fight back with shameless spin or personal attacks."A Labour Party politician who is quite progressive (see her activity online) decided to get some answers and issued this press release that we can now see in many places in the New Zealand's news sites. It's titled "Govt must clarify if software patents are in TPP" and it says: "New Zealand’s tech sector faces an uncertain future if a hard-fought for exclusion for software patents is missing from the final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

""Labour and the tech sector fought long and hard to convince the government to accept that software should not be subject to patents as it stifles innovation and creativity in a fast-moving sector which spans many industries.

""But on the face of it, software has not been named as an exception to patentable inventions. The Government must urgently clarify whether it has stood up for the local industry or sold it down the river." Let it be clear that the source of much of this lobbying for software patents is the United States, where SCOTUS recently (by legal scale) ruled against software patents (overruling software patents-friendly courts like CAFC and bypassing corruptible patent lawyers who were at CAFC), causing a shift in examination guidelines at USPTO. It's about the Alice case that has gotten patent lawyers hopping mad.

The debate about software patents was mentioned in a couple of articles early on Tuesday and again in the afternoon. According to this, the "Federal Circuit Judge S. Jay Plager was driven to abstraction during the latest arguments over the application of 'Alice.'" Patent lawyers know that the fight against software patents is nowadays gathering momentum/steam (UPC and TPP notwithstanding), so they fight back with shameless spin or personal attacks. Alluding to something that we mentioned earlier this week in the long post about patent trolls, one vocal proponent of software patents (and a patent lawyer) goes with the clickbait headline "Mark Cuban: “Get rid of all software patents”" (true statement, but a misfit title).

Well, it is nice to hear him saying that again (even if it's old news), but patent lawyers are furious and they now try to refute Cuban not using facts but rather using personal attacks. They trying to discredit Cuban over it yet again, claiming hypocrisy by associating old action with his more recent stance.

Make no mistake about it. Behind the scenes there are still some powerful actors trying not only to uphold software patents in the US (in defiance of the Supreme Court's ruling) but also to spread them to every country around the world. Action like that of Curran helps expose and thus impede the conspirators (companies like Microsoft and IBM). We commend Curran's actions (she followed me online) and hope she will get to the bottom of this matter.

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