InternetNZ’s patent advisory group hopes to establish a new system for monitoring patent applications.
The group, which held its first face-to-face meeting this week, will suggest to InternetNZ that a system be created that notifies members if a patent is discovered in a nominated category.
Chairman Jim Higgins hopes to have a proposal considered at InternetNZ’s next council meeting in October. He says software has been offered to run the system, but the job of checking patent applications would be contracted out. He estimates the cost at a “few hundred” dollars each month. “I don’t anticipate it will be very substantial.”
Higgins says it’s likely the service would only be available to InternetNZ members, although that decision would be left to the council.
The original members of the group have been joined by John Terry, a partner at Baldwin Shelston Waters, and Barry Hellberg, the New Zealand Retailers Association’s government relations consultant.
Higgins says the group supports changes to patent legislation proposed by the government in August, but is concerned that a patent owner would be able to gain an injunction against an alleged infringer even if a patent has not been found to be enforceable.
InternetNZ established the patent advisory group after concerns were raised about an e-commerce patent held by DE Technologies, and an application from Amazon.com to patent their “one-click” method.
The group’s next meeting is scheduled for October 6, Higgins says. Because there has been little activity from DE Technologies in recent weeks, and the Amazon.com application is being contested, the group has focused on identifying other patent applications.
“I don’t think it’s going to be as big a task as it looked it might have been,” he says. “All we’re really trying to do is create an awareness situation.”