The White House's website
contains a We The People section, allowing common folks to petition the government via the web. The White House promises that it will respond to each petition that amasses a threshold number of e-signatures within a stated period of time. The present threshold is 5,000 e-signatures within 30 days of petition posting. There have been numerous petitions posted, but the one petition that has accumulated the most number of e-signatures in the shortest period of time (over 11,000 signatures in four days, so far) seeks to prevent the issuance of any further software patents in the U.S., and to cancel the software patents that have issued. Here is the text of the petition
We petition the Obama administration to:
Direct the Patent Office to Cease Issuing Software
The patent office's original interpretation of software as language and
therefor patentable is much closer to reality and more productive for innovation
than it's current practice of issuing software patents with no understanding of
the patents being issued.
Under the patent office's current activity, patents have been come a way to
stifle innovation and prevent competition rather than supporting innovation and
competitive markets. They've become a tool of antitrust employed by large
companies against small ones.
To return sanity to the software industry - one of the few industries still
going strong in America - direct the patent office to cease issuing software
patents and to void all previously issued software patents.
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