The Electronic Freedom Foundation announces a plan 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.
As the EFF press release notes, the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Trade Commission have also wondered recently whether some illegitimate patents are being granted lately, holding up competition and innovation.