How a patent fight deprives a little girl of the chance to communicate
This may seem like a complex matter, but the essence is very simple. Maya, a little girl with Down syndrome was learning how to speak with the help of a little iStore app called ´Speak for yourself´ and now needs some help from the public as the app she needs disappeared from Apple´s appStore.
Developed by two speech language pathologists the speech program fitted Maya perfectly and her parents were extremely happy hearing her speak for the first time after training with this program. From a girl unable to speak she is now capable of telling her father she loves him by tabbing on her her iPad. She makes little jokes by like looking out the window at the bright sunshine and tapping “today rain” and laughing. Huge progress for this family.
Unfortunately a patent case did arise between the app developer and an established company over the used technology. A matter for the courts and so far there is no verdict.
However Apple has removed the program from it´s appStore without any order from a judge, just because it has been under discussion for too long. The parents are now afraid that they will lose the app when their OS is upgraded as they can´t download the current or a new version.
I am reasonably well versed in patent questions so I checked most of the legal stuff and from what I can see there is indeed no reason for Apple to act this way except to err on the safe side.
The patent conflict itself is devastating for the parents but it doesn´t make a lot of sense to pressure the company that claims a patent was violated. Emailing them won´t change anything anyway and it´s for a judge to decide which company is right.
Whatever the business case, there are children dependent on this app and the parents of Maya are devastated by the news. Read the blog to fully understand how important this is for her parents and what a change a little app made for the life of this family. Time to help them out.What you can do is spread this story and send emails to Apple to get the app back in the appStore until this patent conflict is solved.
What you also can do is help out by making sure this app becomes available through alternative stores if Apple is not willing to change its decision.
Email addresses of all parties and the full story is in the link which I got through +Jo Anne Thomas
and +Adi Rabinovich
I decided to write my own post as a summary and some fact checking by an independent poster often helps in getting people to act. #mayasvoiceapp