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New technology and first responders A few months ago, we never would have imagined that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) would issue an order in a patent dispute that sets back the technological advances sought by the emergency response community. Yet, here we are (“Patent protection,” Editorial, July 17).

In an emergency, every passing minute decreases the chances of, for example, resuscitating a heart-attack victim, rescuing a kidnapped child or containing the damage of a biological attack. But the ITC order, which goes into effect today, bans the import of handsets that improve the accuracy of a 911 caller’s location.

Almost all the key emergency response and communications policy organizations — FEMA, the FCC, APCO, NENA, NPSTC and the National Association of Counties (NACo) — have joined the emergency response alliance ComCARE in speaking out against the ITC ruling.

We urge President Bush to reverse the ITC ban so that these important technological advances will be available to both the public and emergency responders.

RICHARD TAYLOR

Chairman

ComCARE

Washington

Executive Director

North Carolina Wireless 9-1-1 Board

Raleigh, N.C.

Jack Potter

Vice Chairman

ComCARE

Washington

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