Patent advisory group to meet

InternetNZ's new patent advisory group hopes to have its first meeting today or tomorrow, says chair Jim Higgins.

InternetNZ’s new patent advisory group hopes to have its first meeting today or tomorrow, says chair Jim Higgins.

The group was set up by InternetNZ last month to share information about patent claims and examine legal and policy issues.

“We’ll be getting together as soon as we possibly can,” Higgins says. “At that point we’ll be working out the aims.”

Although attention to date has been largely focussed on DE Technology’s attempt to license an e-commerce patent to local e-tailers and Amazon.com’s pending one-click patent, Higgins says the group’s work will be ongoing.

“We have got a couple of things on our plate at the moment, but there will be other things going ahead,” he says. “The idea is that we’ll set up some sort of patent monitoring system.”

Last week the Intellectual Property Office of NZ website listed 2342 patents that had been accepted and were in the three-month holding period for public feedback. Higgins says checking each patent will be “quite a chellenge,” but believes the group will be able to raise awareness of software patents.

“Anything that says ‘internet,’ the alarm bells will ring. We might offer a review service so people can flick things to us,” he says.

Other members of the group are InternetNZ vice-president David Farrar and industry representatives from Webfoot Publications, Webfarm, Plain Communications and e-Media.

“I’m sure that there will be other people interested in giving a hand,” Higgins says.

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