FSF Calls Software Patents A Disease Amid COVID-19 Crisis, USPTO A Super-Spreader

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 22 June 2020 at 07:41 PM EDT. 26 Comments
GNU --
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has renewed their attacks against the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and software patents in general, this time in relation to the COVID-19 / coronavirus crisis.

With the USPTO introducing a prioritized examination pilot program for patents relating to COVID-19 during this global pandemic so that they can be reviewed faster, the Free Software Foundation is taking aim at them.

In a new blog post the FSF's Licensing and Compliance Manager, Donald Robertson, calls software patents "another kind of disease" and "the USPTO is pretending to help with the response to COVID-19, it is actually throwing a supercharged wrench into the gears of medical supply distribution, so we the people have to come up with our own response that actually helps."

The FSF.org post ends with, "Software patents are another kind of disease, and the USPTO has decided to become a super-spreader of that infection, which will in turn worsen the physical infections. Join together with us to fight back."

In their "fighting back", the FSF is backing a "COVID-19 Response Team." This FSF COVID-19 response team / medical group is maintaining a listing of free software projects pertaining to molecular biology and bioinformatics and plans to also gather free 3D printer files pertaining to medical devices. As of writing they seem to be up to a team captain and three participants for listing these software and 3D printer file sources.

Separately via LibrePlanet.org is a "hackers and hospitals" initiative for 3D printing personal protective equipment for hospitals and other medical centers in need.
Related News
About The Author
Author picture

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

Popular News This Week