At the clinic I work at we just bought iPads to help our clients with related issues. I’m not sure where I stand on this article but it is good food for thought.
Actually, I know where I stand. Whatever the patents are that are being argued over should never have existed if an iPad app is infringing on them. The iPad is a completely different delivery device, and the app is a completely different product. No one should be able to hold exclusive rights to assistive technology.
Earlier this year, I wrote a story about Maya, a four-year-old girl who used an app called Speak for Yourself to help her communicate with the outside world. Maya’s mother, Dana Nieder, preferred the app over more established augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices because it worked on an iPad, which was easier for Maya to handle, and it was cheaper — $299 plus the cost of an iPad, as opposed to bulkier devices that can cost up to $8,000.
The app is being threatened by a joint lawsuit from Prentke Romich Company (PRC) and Semantic Compaction Systems, which claim that Heidi LoStracco and Renee Collender — the two speech pathologists behind Speak for Yourself — infringed on over 100 of their software patents. LoStracco and Collender fought back, claiming in court that the lawsuit is baseless.
Now it seems that despite the fact that the lawsuit is still…
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