“Under the Patents Act 1953, computer programs can be patented n New Zealand, provided they produce a commercially useful effect. […] [Some submitters] felt 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. In general we accept this position,” the committee says.
"Commerce Minister Simon Power says the Government will back changes proposed by a select committee that will mean computer software can no longer be patented. […] The Government would support a select committee recommendation that the Intellectual Property Office develop guidelines for inventions that involve "embedded software" — software that is built into a physical device. Software will still be protected by copyright, which prevents outright copying.
"Open Source Society president Don Christie welcomed the decision, while Microsoft expressed reservations."
"Any exclusion of software from the New Zealand patents regime will “suck the lifeblood” out of the New Zealand software development industry, says Chris Auld, director of strategy and innovation at Microsoft-specialist developer Intergen."
The argument was promptly countered by Open Source Society president Don Christie who says Auld’s is a “very tired old argument that has been discredited. It was, of course, made to the select committee who were obviously unconvinced. All I need to do is point to the explosive growth of the internet, which was based on the idea of openness and uncapturability. In other words, no patents. Indeed, the heydays of the computer software industry have all occurred during periods where patents were not available to software developers.”