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NYC LOCAL: Monday 27 September 2010 Deadline for Emails to USPTO about S

From: secretary
Subject: NYC LOCAL: Monday 27 September 2010 Deadline for Emails to USPTO about Software Patents
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 16:02:29 -0000

  what="notice from the Free Software Foundation
        about Monday 27 September 2010 deadline
        for letters to United States Patent and Trademark Office
        on software patents"
  importance="high, even a simple letter will count;
              the other side, those in favor of software patents,
              have many well paid letter writers sending in letters
              in support of software patents"

 From: Brett Smith <>
 Organization: Free Software Foundation
 Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 18:11:01 -0400
 Subject: Encourage the USPTO to stop issuing software patents: deadline 
September 27

 Following the Supreme Court's decision in *Bilski v. Kappos*, the
 United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) plans to release new
 guidance as to which patent applications will be accepted, and which
 will not.  As part of this process, they are seeking input from the
 public about how that guidance should be structured.

 Normally when the USPTO solicits feedback like this, they hear almost
 exclusively from patent attorneys who have a vested interest in making
 sure that patents are granted as broadly as possible.  And this
 process will be overseen by David Kappos, the current director of the
 USPTO and formerly an attorney at IBM in charge of their heavy-handed
 patent strategy.  The company obtained large numbers of software
 patents with his oversight (and has continued to do so after his departure).

 It's not hard to guess what this guidance will look like if we leave
 this process in their hands.  But there's no rule that says only
 patent attorneys can offer feedback.  Patent examiners are civil
 servants and accountable to the public at large.  The USPTO should
 hear from software users and developers, who acutely feel the effects
 of software patents that limit what they can do with their computers
 and free software.

 If you're a U.S. citizen, please write to the USPTO at
 <> and tell them that their new guidance
 should include a strong stand against software patents.  Submissions
 are **due by Monday, September 27**.  Please share a copy of your
 letter with us, by CCing <>.  That way the USPTO will
 know that someone else is keeping track of the number of letters sent.

 Your letter should explain how you're affected by software patents,
 how software patents take freedom away from all computer users, and
 that a strong stance against software patents in USPTO's guidance
 would be consistent with the *Bilski* decision.  If you like, you can
 use some of the text below to help you get started on your letter:

 > Software patents hurt individuals by taking away our ability to
 > control the devices that now exert such strong influence on our
 > personal freedoms, including how we interact with each other.  Now
 > that computers are near-ubiquitous, it's easier than ever for an
 > individual to create or modify software to perform the specific
 > tasks they want done -- and more important than ever that they be
 > able to do so.  But a single software patent can put up an
 > insurmountable, and unjustifiable, legal hurdle for many would-be
 > developers.

 > The Supreme Court of the United States has never ruled in favor of
 > the patentability of software.  Their decision in *Bilski v. Kappos*
 > further demonstrates that they expect the boundaries of patent
 > eligibility to be drawn more narrowly than they commonly were at the
 > case's outset.  The primary point of the decision is that the
 > machine-or-transformation test should not be the sole test for
 > drawing those boundaries.  The USPTO can, and should, exclude
 > software from patent eligibility on other legal grounds: because
 > software consists only of mathematics, which is not patentable, and
 > the combination of such software with a general-purpose computer is
 > obvious.

 More resources to help you write your letter are available on the End
 Software Patents wiki, at
 We'll also follow up there with information about the guidelines once
 they're published.

 Brett Smith
 License Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation

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Jay Sulzberger <>
Corresponding Secretary LXNY
LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.

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