New Zealand has passed a new bill which effectively bans software patents.
The bill was passed after five years of deliberations and delays, ZDNet reported, with lobbying from software companies.
"By clarifying the definition of what can be patented, we are giving New Zealand businesses more flexibility to adapt and improve existing inventions, while continuing to protect genuine innovations," Commerce Minister Craig Foss reportedly said.
The bill was drafted back in 2008, followed by the Commerce Select Committee proposing that software patents be banned in 2010.
Craig Matthews, of the Institute of IT Professionals, has hailed the move, saying that patents don't work for software, "because it is almost impossible for genuine technology companies to create new software without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents that exist".
"Today's historic legislation will support our innovative technology industry, and sends a clear message to the rest of the world that New Zealand won't tolerate the vexatious practice of 'patent trolls'."