It is easy to think that the software patents issue is this year's news. But it is worth reflecting on the fact that, in New Zealand as elsewhere, practically the entire IT industry has been campaigning against software patents for years. What was highly unusual *this* year was an New Zealand IT vendor organisation, NZICT, coming out in favour of software patents.
We know that NZCS, NZSA, InternetNZ all issued statements in favour of excluding software from the Patents Bill. But someone has recently reminded me that it is not only the NZOSS that has been campaigning against software patents for many years.
The vendor association, ITANZ, was strongly critical of them, going back 7 years...
IT body joins protest ranks
IT Association lines up E-mmediate patent
We can't fight patents alone, ITANZ says
So NZICT's predecessor was actually taking legal action to prevent software patents entering NZ (just like the NZOSS has been doing).
Aficionados of the back story behind software patents may also be interested to see that non-other than AJ Park were involved in trying to bring Amazon's "One Click" patent to NZ. (Ironically it was an NZer who finally got that one overturned.)