The IP law community continues to peddle half truths about the New Zealand Patent Bill and the status of computer software. I notice that they never allow comments on their blogs which means that their misleading contentions are never challenged by people that actually understand software engineering. Readers will probably find lots of instances of this but compare the NZ Computer Society's newsletter on the latest information from MED with that of Baldwins IP. Keep in mind that the NZCS is our professional body...Baldwins is not.
The NZOSS 2011 AGM has been held. Thanks to all who took the time to participate.
The NZOSS will be holding its Annual General Meeting at 7pm this coming Thursday, 4 August. Groups connected by video and/or teleconference will be meeting at venues Auckland (at ICONZ), Wellington (at Catalyst IT) and Christchurch (at Egressive) - with meeting business to take place on Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
The Ministry of Economic Development has published the submissions in relation to the draft guidelines on for the Examination of Patent Applications Involving Computer Programs discussion document. The call for submissions was clear that this was not an opportunity to revisit the decision to exclude software patents, saying “"In releasing the draft guidelines for comment, it is not intended to re-open the debate regarding the patentability of computer programs, or whether an amendment should be made to clause 15(3A).
The US Patent Office has rejected 17 out of 21 patent claims from Oracle as a result of the reexamination of U.S. patent 6192476. Recently Oracle released information indicating it had asked the court for SIX BILLION DOLLARS. While the claims of Oracle are astronomically absurd their claims are being eliminated as the Patent Office continues to reexamine the patents in question.
James Bessen of the Boston University School of Law has published a paper demonstrating that software patents are not beneficial to the software industry. He finds that a overwhelming majority of software firms do not employ patents, that an overwhelming majority of patents are obtained by a few large corporations, and that both the number of patents and the risk of patent litigation are increasing dramatically.
The NZOSS is pleased to announce that its opposition to New Zealand patent application 536149, filed by Microsoft in relation to XML word processing documents has been successful. Yesterday we were informed by IPONZ that Microsoft has withdrawn their application.
Oracle has announced that it will move OpenOffice.org to a community based open source project. This follows the foundation of The Document Foundation and the start of LibreOffice in September 2010. At the time The Document Foundation asked for the trademarks of OpenOffice.org to be donated by Oracle to The Document Foundation.
The Copyright Amendment Act is now law. Those who opposed the original law which would allow for disconnection of Internet connections without legal oversight are no more pleased with the amendment which while introducing a copyright tribunal to hear cases of copyright infringement they will assume that a notice is positive evidence for infringement.
Red Hat has opened up shop in New Zealand saying it has done so to "further promote open source including Red Hat's Linux, middleware and cloud computing offerings." Heading up the new push into New Zealand will be Country Manager Craig Nielsen. He will be leading efforts to establish stronger links with customers, the open source community and government organisations. He will also be aiming to foster the development of innovative ideas and technologies that can be showcased to the rest of the world.
Google have made a bid for a patent portfolio owned by Nortel. From the official Google Blog they make clear their continued opposition to software patents, saying that "The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits.". Google and it's partners have been the target of numerous patent lawsuits over the last year, primarily related to Android.