- The big hot topic is New Zealand Patents Bill 235. May 2013: new text might block software patents.
Patents Bill 2009 as of 2021
New Zealand no longer recognises computer software as patentable with the acceptance of Supplementary Order Paper 237, on 9 May 2013. There is a software industry petition website (now archived) documenting the advocacy and process (and intrigue - namely unethical behaviour by multinational corporations and their lawyers which, in turn, brought the NZ government minister into disrepute by association) involved. The website and those involved were thanked on the floor of NZ Parliament by the main MP advocate for the software patent ban, Claire Curran.
Patents Bill 2009 (as of 2012, still ongoing)
- See also: New Zealand Patents Bill 235
Unifying examination with Australia 2012
In 2012, the government published a the Building Innovation report. The only relevant mention of patents was one general statement:
Passing the Patents Bill will align our patent laws more closely with those of our trading partners and international best practice.
"aligning with trading partners" could be a euphemism for taking orders from the USA, or it could be innocuous.
Patent office decisions
The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) is responsible for examining patent applications.
In 2005, they approved an application for using a computer with an XML word-processor document, displayed with an XML Schema Definition, using software with the functionality of "parsing, modifying, reading, and creating the word-processor document". 
To search for patents on the NZIPO website, go to their search page:
Then fill in one or more fields and go back to the top of the page and click "Submit query".
A "SOP" is a Supplementary Order Paper, which is an amendment.
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- Organising a campaign
- Studies on economics and innovation
- Software patents harm SMEs
- IBM and MS deciding New Zealand legislation
- parliament.govt.nz - the official government website where legislative procedures can be followed
- Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand, the national patent office
- Masters thesis on patents in NZ, by Joel W Pauling
- IPwatch service of InternetNZ
- 2003 comments by InternetNZ regarding swpats in NZ
- FFII page with details about New Zealand, archived since 2005
- New Zealand Open Source Society - an organisation representing one sector that would be harmed by software patents
- AIPLA: Info about software and business method patents in NZ
- ...a post-patent environment, May 26th 2010, ComputerWolrdNZ