Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Please join us to help SHIELD Act get passed

Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes (short for SHIELD) Act has been introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and co-sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).  SHIELD Act protects software companies from paying legal cost when plaintiff (often patent trolls) loses legal case in court.  Basically it mandates software patent litigation expenses to be paid by patent trolls if they lose.

This is good news.  SHIELD Act will provide some measure of protection for small software startups so that they can continue innovating and create competitive advantages for U.S. companies against other high-tech economies around the world.

As many of us knows by now, our software patent system is broken.  There are too many non-practicing entities buying up broadly applicable software patents from inventors just to get settlement payments from software companies.  Many of them are small to medium size businesses without adequate resources to defend themselves against these broad software patents.  If you are not familiar with how patent trolls operate, you can listen to This American Life: When Patents Attack:

At the time of writing this blog entry, there are 10,087 signatures gathered on EFF Defend Innovation site.  One of them is my signature.

If you have not signed the petition, I encourage you to do so now.  All of informed citizens have to band together to reform software patent system.

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