The bill passed the New Zealand parliament on Wednesday on its third reading.
In an indication of how far things have shifted, the vote was 117 for to 4 against. Back in 2009, when a vote was taken for allowing unlimited software patents in the country, there were 107 votes for and only 14 against.
The country decided in 2010 to keep its existing bill, which effectively meant that software could not be patented. But then there was a back-flip two years later, and altered the law to only partially ban the practice.
This led to speculation that the changes had been made to accommodate the US as New Zealand is involved in negotiations with Washington and eight other countries to sign a treaty known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Now it looks like things have been finally laid to rest. Commerce Minister Craig Foss welcomed the passing of the bill.
"This Bill is marks a significant step towards driving innovation in New Zealand, it replaces sixty year-old legislation and introduces a patent system suited for the 21st century,” he was quoted as saying in a media release.
The head of the Institute of IT Professionals, Paul Matthews, said: "We are delighted to see the new Patents Act (2013) has passed the committee stage and third reading with near unanimous support in Parliament. I would like to congratulate Minister Craig Foss for listening to concerns from the IT industry and ensuring that software patents are excluded."
In a media release, Matthews added: "As Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said in Parliament today (Wednesday), this is a historic day for Intellectual Property in New Zealand. It's also a breakthrough day where old law met modern technology and came out on the side of New Zealand's software innovators".