David A. Wheeler's Blog

Fri, 30 Sep 2011

Petition the White House to cease issuing software patents

I encourage all US citizens to sign this petition to the US White House to “direct the patent office to cease issuing software patents”. I believe software patents impede innovation (instead of helping it), and they have become a threat to the US economy. Many organizations involved in software are now spending lots of time fending off patent trolls, fighting patent lawsuits, or cannot safely solve problems due to patent thickets. The recently-passed “America Invents Act” (AIA) completely failed to deal with this fundamental problem.

Signing a petition won’t immediately solve anything. That’s not how it works. But repeatedly making the government aware that there’s a real problem is a good first step to solving a problem. In the US, the right of the people to petition their government is guaranteed by the first amendment of the US Constitution (“Congress shall make no law …. abridging… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”). Everyone is affected today by software, and so far the government has not effectively dealt with the problem. Please use this opportunity to make the government aware of a real problem.

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