Patent Settlement Ends Fight Over Helpful Speech App -- But Leaves Questions About Patent Bullies
from the glad-it's-over,-but... dept
Thankfully, the makers of Speak for Yourself have now announced that the case has been settled and the patent holder and licensee who were suing them, Semantic Compaction Systems and Prentke Romich Company, will drop all claims and takedown notices concerning SFY. Unfortunately, the terms of the agreement are confidential -- which is common in these kinds of things, but far from necessary. It's likely that SFY paid something here, though there have been questions about the validity of the patent in question (5,920,303) for a keyboard with keys that dynamically change. While this news means that the Nieder family no longer needs to worry, it's unfortunate that this whole thing had to happen in the first place. It was a pointless and wasteful distraction from all of these companies focusing on actually innovating and competing in the marketplace, like they should. As for the Nieders, there doesn't appear to be an update on their blog yet, but perhaps it's because little Maya has a brand new baby brother. Hopefully she enjoys speaking to him with the SFY app, and her parents can rest easy knowing they don't have to worry about their daughter's ability to communicate any longer.