Group Battles "Dubious" Software Patents - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications

Group Battles "Dubious" Software Patents

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched a campaign to persuade the government to revoke patents it feels are harmful to innovation and free expression by small businesses or nonprofits.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A civil liberties group that has battled the recording industry and Hollywood over digital rights is now taking aim at what it considers dubious patents.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation launched a campaign this week to persuade the government to revoke patents the EFF considers harmful to innovation and free expression by small businesses or nonprofit organizations.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has seen a surge in software patents covering general business methods, which critics say are overly broad. Among them: the online shopping techniques of one-click purchases and electronic shopping carts.

"Rather than watch the problem get worse, we see it as an opportunity to show the harms that some of the patents are causing," EFF staff attorney Wendy Seltzer said

For instance, Seltzer said, dozens of small retailers now face lawsuit threats for using a virtual shopping cart on their Web sites, and they could ill afford the legal or licensing fees.

EFF plans to choose what it deems the worst offenders and work to get the patents re-examined--and rescinded--by the government.

The patent-busting campaign follows an October report from the Federal Trade Commission addressing questionable patents and recommending, among other things, better ways to challenge a patent's validity without going to court.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Reflections on Tech in 2019
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  12/9/2019
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll