A heartbreaking look at software patentsJune 12, 2012 10:36 am Uncategorized
My friend and former colleague from SFLC, Dan Ravicher, wrote to me about this little girl who relies on an app to speak. The app is under threat for patent infringement and Apple has already removed it from the itunes store. This story has already got some press, but now the app has actually been removed from itunes, and the parents are worried that Apple will remotely update the device to remove it. What amazes me about this story is that it echoes some of my own feelings towards my pacemaker/defibrillator. It shows how real people are increasingly relying on technology that they have less and less control over for extremely important aspects of our lives. While malfunction of the app isn’t a concern for this family in the same way it is for medical devices like mine, they live in fear that one day their daughter’s voice will just stop working and there’s very little they can do about it. It’s another side of the software patent issues and lockdown that I really hadn’t considered before. Many thanks to Dan for his work with the Public Patent Foundation.