OSIA wants end to software patents in Australia

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 14 October, 2013

OSIA wants end to software patents in Australia

Australian open-source software industry group OSIA has called for the abolition of software patents.

In a submission to the Australian Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) review of the innovation patent system, OSIA has advocated for software to be excluded from patentability altogether.

OSIA chairman Jack Burton said the industry body was responding to a strong grassroots movement pushing for the end to software patents.

“When the news broke late August that the New Zealand Government had just legislated to abolish software patents, we were inundated with statements of support from our community - and with queries how we might foster similar progressive steps here in Australia,” he said.

He said a consensus is slowly emerging worldwide that software patents serve to inhibit rather than promote innovation. As well as New Zealand’s recent ban, the EU has been debating such a move for over a decade.

“The general rule of thumb in the software industry is that when you’re young you innovate and when you’re old you litigate (with patents),” he said.

“So patents have become more of a distraction than anything else and, while they service the needs of patent trolls and patent attorneys, they are much to the detriment of our local businesses and our community.”

Image courtesy of opensource.com under CC

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