The USPTO Would Like to Partner with the Software Community
There is a notice in the Federal Register that the USPTO would like to form a partership with the software community to figure out how to "enhance" the quality of software patents. To that end, they are looking for comments and there will be two roundtable events sponsored by the USPTO, one in Silicon Valley and one in New York, both in February
It's obvious the USPTO realizes there is serious unhappiness among software developers, and they'd like to improve things. Software developers are the folks most immediately and directly affected by the software patents the USPTO issues, and it's getting to the point that no one can code anything without potentially getting sued. I don't wish to be cynical, though, as that's a useless thing. So maybe we should look at it as an opportunity to at least be heard. It's progress that they even thought about having a dialogue with developers, if you look at it that way.
I'm sure companies with lots of patents will be participating. So some of you should probably try to attend too, don't you think? At least send in thoughtful, respectful but clear and specific comments. Large companies with patent portfolios they treasure and don't want to lose can't represent the interests of individual developers or the FOSS community, those most seriously damaged by toxic software patents. And now that patent trolls are targeting individual apps developers and small businesses that simply use technology like scanners and email, somebody needs to listen to what those of us who are not IBM or Microsoft or Google are enduring. And heaven only knows they are going through plenty too. But my point is there are more of you than there are of them.
If you do want to attend, you have to register by February 4th, free, but seating is limited, and it's first-come, first-serve
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