President Obama held another Google+ Hangout today and answered questions on a number of topics, and a couple of the items on the table today were topics very close to our hearts here at PhoneArena. The president talked about patent reform, saying it has only gone "about halfway to where we need to go", and unfortunately he avoided the topic of unlocking phones.
On the topic of patents, President Obama made it clear that he understands the trouble that patent trolls are causing, but as usual, he was careful to mention that there isn't an easy fix to the issue. He admitted that the recent patent reform bill
hasn't solved all of the problems, and continued on to talk about patent trolls, saying:
The folks that you're talking about are a classic example. They don't actually produce anything themselves. They're just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else's idea and see if they can extort some money out of them. Sometimes these things are challenging. Because we also want to make sure that patents are long enough, and that people's intellectual property is protected. We've got to balance that with making sure that they're not so long that innovation is reduced.
Of the 10 most popular questions voted on for the president, the 8th most popular concerned the legality of unlocking or modifying phones. It asked, "Mr. President, would you support a small, targeted fix to copyright law that allows folks to use the devices and digital media that they have already paid for, however they like, and for their own personal use?" Unfortunately, the president was never presented this question, and so did not comment on it.
concerning unlocking cell phones is still about 32,000 signatures short of the 100,000 needed to require a White House response on the issue. The petition expires on February 23rd, so share that petition as much as you can before then, and maybe we can get a real response on the question.
You can watch the full Hangout below. The comments about patents comes around 43 minutes in.