Patents Bill passes second reading

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 09:31 13/09/2012

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The Patents Bill, which contains a controversial clause on the patent-ability of software, has passed its second reading in Parliament.

However, Opposition parties could garner enough support to shoot down the bill when it is next voted on by MPs at the committee stage or at its third and final reading, Labour communications spokeswoman Clare Curran believes.

Labour supported the bill at its second reading but intends to vote against it next time, unless the Government accepts a Labour amendment, which the party believed would tighten up a proposed ban on software patents.

Curran said she had been contacted by a software company that was relocating from Canada to New Zealand because of the proposed ban and was aware of another $170 million investment that had hinged on it.

"It is a big incentive for development."

Commerce Minister Craig Foss welcomed the progress of the legislation through its second reading.

"The changes will overhaul 60-year old legislation and create a balanced patent system,'' he said.Foss said the bill was one of more than 50 policy initiatives aimed at boosting innovation.

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- The Dominion Post

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