The Patent Bill currently before Parliament will implement the intent of the Commerce Select Committee by excluding software from patentable inventions. Craig Foss is reported to say "These changes ensure the Bill is consistent with the intention of the Commerce Select Committee recommendation that computer programs should not be patentable," in the NZHerald.
In the global GIS, spatial data & web mapping arena ESRI plays a similar role as the dominant global player to Microsoft, but as with all analogies, don't treat this as 100% gospel. There are many players out there, in the FOSS arena and others.
The Open Geospatial Consortium is a standards developing body in the spatial software domain, generally supporting/facilitating interoperability.
The NZOSS was very pleased to be a part, as a community supporter, of the NZ Open Source Awards which took place this past Wednesday night in Wellington. The event was superbly organised and run by the good folks at Catalyst IT and it was an inspiring display of creative energy and commitment to free and open source software by the NZ FOSS community. The full results of the awards are on available on the NZOSA website.
Last week's announcement that Commerce Minister Craig Foss had submitted a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) to alter the wording of the Patents Bill prior to its second reading in Parliament rightly raised the ire of the New Zealand software industry.
With the removal of the explicit software patent exclusion, and the addition of two tiny words, "as such", the Commerce Minister, Craig Foss, has more or less thrown kiwi software developers under a bus.
The NZOSS has held its 2012 Annual General Meeting starting at 17:30 this evening, 6 August 2012.