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Re: [Australia-public-discuss] Review of the Innovation Patent System -

From: Lev Lafayette
Subject: Re: [Australia-public-discuss] Review of the Innovation Patent System - final report out
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2014 12:01:23 +1100
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Hi Ben,

On Thu, July 3, 2014 7:44 pm, Ben Sturmfels wrote:
> I'm looking forward to reading the full report and writing up a few
> thoughts and future steps (currently busy with a brand new baby). From a
> quick skim, it's a great result in that the report clearly reflects our
> concerns about software patents in general, as well as innovation patents.

Yes, that's pretty much correct. The relevant recommendation is

2.5 Recommendation 5:
Amend subsections 18(3) and 18(4) of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) to provide
that, for the purposes of innovation patents, no method, process or system
shall be patentable.

The report made numerous comments about how the software industry in
particular felt that patents were hampering innovation.

It must be noted however that this is a recommendation (even after years
since the review was first raised)! It has to be accepted by the Minister
and legislation put to parliament.

Whilst the scope of the review is only for Innovation Patents. The same
logic (out-of-scope) applies for standard patents as well.

The important action at this stage requires lobbying the relevant
politicians to (a) act on the recommendation and (b) extend the
recommendation to standard patents. This requires coordinated action by
relevant groups (e.g., End Software Patents, Free Software Groups, Linux
Australia, LUGs etc). It may be a good idea for End Software Patents to
take the lead on this, although LA obviously is the body with the best
resources to do so.

Also keep an eye on this part of the Report:

"However, one submission from a software industry association strongly
objected to any moves that would exclude software patents for the
innovation patent system. They believe that an exclusion would restrict
innovation and increase its costs. They also believe that such a proposal
would be unworkable due to the increasing use of software in products that
were not earlier associated with computers."

My guess that this is from Apple, who have the single largest bloc of
innovation patents.

Lev Lafayette, BA (Hons), GradCertTerAdEd (Murdoch), GradCertPM, MBA (Tech
Mngmnt) (Chifley)
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