Austrailia Clarificaiton and New Zealand Ban on Software Patents

In a not unexpected move, New Zealand harmonized their position on software patents with the European Union.

New Zealand lawmakers had been struggling with the proposed policy since 2008, when it was first introduced.  With almost unanimous passage, New Zealand has harmonized their patent laws with many other countries that do not recognize software patents.

Australia’s Federal Court clarified software patents for the Australian Patent Office.

In RPL Central Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents [2013] FCA 871 (30 August 2013), the Court held that:

•    A change in state or information in a part of a machine produces a physical effect (see [143]);
•    There is no “substantiality requirement” forming part of the manner of manufacture inquiry under Australian law (see [156]);
•    It is improper to subtract from the invention any aspect of computer implementation, and then determine whether what remains is patent eligible (see [157]);

It is now believed  that the APO will now revert to their previous approach, and will no longer refuse claims on the basis that the computer in a “computer-implemented method” is incidental, or that any data transformation is insufficiently substantial.

How Can I Help?

As you can see, the patent world is an ever evolving sea of change.  If you need help navigating the waters of foreign patent prosecution, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +


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