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[Nz-public-discuss] clarifying the amendment

From: Ciarán O'Riordan
Subject: [Nz-public-discuss] clarifying the amendment
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 15:21:38 +0100

The proposed amendment is good (very good given the time constraints),
but there are two reasons to look for ways to improve it:

1. There will be patent lawyers trying to make a career out of finding
   ways to get software patents granted and upheld despite the ban.

2. Judges will be presented with patents describing "A system wherein an
   electronics device, making use of an embedded computer program, does
   [routing, video conferencing, pinch to zoom...]" - and while I can
   see ways that a judge might (and should) invalidate it with this
   amendment, judges can reach surprising interpretations sometimes, so
   we really need to cut down any margin for interpretation.

The two key points are to clarify that any mentions of programs in the
patent application can only be incidental (e.g. it so happens that the
only practical way to perform this new type of braking or of clothes
washing involved a computer program, but it could theoretically also be
done by a human or a mechanical system), and that the aspects that
fulfil the criteria for patentability can't be in the program (e.g. the
thing controlled by the program has to be an "invention" in and of
itself, without relying on the program, so a computer+program can't be
patented since it's just a non-innovative thing plus a non-patentable

I've been trying to formulate suggestions and better explanations of
this, but it's taking me too long so I'll put them in another mail.  If
I had to commit to a suggestion right now, I'd nervously suggest this:

   "While software thus cannot contribute to patentability, non-program
    inventions remain patentable, regardless of whether or not they are
    controlled by a programmed computer."

Will mail again late tonight or tomorrow.

Ciarán O'Riordan
+32 (0) 485 118 029 -

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