Update: The initial letter incorrectly listed Dan Lang of Cisco as a signatory. Lang did not sign on. The initial letter has also been updated to include Pokeware founder Maryse Thomas.
San Francisco - Fifty inventors, technologists and entrepreneurs joined Engine Advocacy and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today in requesting that Congress immediately pass meaningful patent reform legislation to curb the growing patent troll problem.
The signatories are collectively listed as inventors on nearly 200 patents, many of which cover software inventions. They expressed support for patent reform. Congress is currently pursuing several approaches that have the potential to curb the chilling effect on innovation posed by trolls and improve patent quality.
"Broad, vague patents covering software-type inventions—some of which we ourselves are listed as inventors on—are a malfunctioning component of America's inventive machinery," the inventors write. "This is particularly the case when those patents end up in the hands of non-practicing patent trolls." The inventors believe that "software patents are doing more harm than good," and they urge Congress to pass legislation that would curb patent troll abuses, which pose an immediate threat to innovation and the promise of technology.
"It's time to force these trolls to take responsibility for the damage they cause with their dangerous claims," said inventor Derek Parham, who helped organize the letter. "We need legislation that will put a stop to the patent troll business model once and for all."
In addition to Parham, many prominent engineers and entrepreneurs signed the letter, including Twitter co-founder Evan Williams; Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz; former Principal Engineer at Qualcomm Ranganathan Krishnan; and Quantcast's co-founder Paul Sutter.
"The time for meaningful reform is now," said Julie Samuels, EFF Senior Staff Attorney and the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents. "We hope Congress will hear these engineers and inventors and so many others and pass legislation that ends the patent troll problem once and for all."
For the full open letter: https://www.eff.org/document/inventorslettersupportpatentreform
Senior Staff Attorney and The Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents
Electronic Frontier Foundation