San Francisco, CA - In light of growing concerns about illegitimate software and Internet patents, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today announced a new initiative to combat the chilling effects bad patents have on public and consumer interests.
"Patents traditionally only targeted large commercial companies," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "Now bad patents are threatening non-profits, small businesses, and even individuals who use software and Internet technology." These threats target non-commercial personal use, such as building a hobbyist website or streaming a wedding video to your friends.
The new EFF initiative seeks to document these threats and fight back against them. EFF has pledged to file "re-examination" requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), asking the agency to revoke patents that are having negative effects on Internet innovation and free expression.
"More and more, people are using software and Internet technology to express themselves," said EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer. "Patent owners who threaten this expression are creating a chilling effect on free speech."
The EFF announcement comes on the heels of two recent public criticisms of the patent system, one by the Federal Trade Commission and the other by the National Academy of Sciences.
For this release:
EFF Patent Busting Project White Paper and related materials:
Federal Trade Commission Patent Reform Report:
National Academy of Sciences Patent Reform Report: