Friday, May 13, 2011

How to help

If you follow this blog, you may wonder "How can I help?"

Influencing change on "software" patents will not be easy, but it is possible. We need your help to make this happen.

Ultimately, changing how the USPTO considers "software" patents will require a change in law. The right place for this to start is with your congressperson. Remember: it's the job of your senator or US representative to listen to you and bring your concerns to the floor. All it takes is a phone call.

There's one Senate subcommittee that may have strong influence here: the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. Their jurisdiction, per the web site:
(1) Oversight of laws and policies governing the collection, protection, use and dissemination of commercial information by the private sector, including online behavioral advertising, privacy within social networking websites and other online privacy issues; (2) Enforcement and implementation of commercial information privacy laws and policies; (3) Use of technology by the private sector to protect privacy, enhance transparency and encourage innovation; (4) Privacy standards for the collection, retention, use and dissemination of personally identifiable commercial information; and (5) Privacy implications of new or emerging technologies.
Do you live in Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Utah, or South Carolina? If so, your senator sits on this very important committee.

If we can get several of these senators to understand how "software" patents are stifling innovation of American technology companies, how US companies are spending so much time and money fighting "software" patents when those resources could go to R&D, then the subcommittee can take action.

Contact your senator's office, and voice your concerns over "software" patents. Note that you don't actually have to speak with your senator - ask to speak with the staffer who usually deals with technology issues. An alternate contact might be their State Director.

Feel free to cite the examples in this blog when you speak with your congressperson. After all, that's why I'm writing this blog. My goal is one example per day.

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