The software patent controversy explained

Summary:Software patents have been controversial for decades. They're now back in the news thanks to New Zealand's plan to make software "unpatentable". But what's it all about?

Software patents have been controversial for decades. They're now back in the news thanks to New Zealand's plan to make software "unpatentable". But what's it all about?

New Zealand's parliamentary Commerce Committee had recommended that software not be patentable. Last week the country's Commerce Minister Simon Power announced that he'd make no further changes to the Patents Bill. That means no software patents, although inventions that contain software would still be patentable.

Australia, however, does grant software patents, and has for years.

So who's in favour of software patents? Who's against? And why?

On Patch Monday this week, Kimberlee Weatherall, who teaches intellectual property law at the University of Queensland, provides the background.

Patch Monday also includes Stilgherrian's random look at some of the week's IT news headlines.

To leave an audio comment for Patch Monday, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time: 18 minutes, 40 seconds

Topics: Software

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit tr... Full Bio

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