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Posts Tagged: "Obama"

Are Today’s Social Media Tech Giants the Big Brother that Orwell Warned Us About?

Dystopian novels and science fiction often return to the subject of the loss of personal privacy which is often encouraged by the use of technology enabling constant, omnipresent surveillance. Perhaps the most famous example of this in the science fiction canon of the 20th century is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. First published in 1949, Orwell’s novel conceives of a world where government surveillance is so complete that the vast majority of citizens don’t mind being watched by two-way telescreens in their own apartments. Even the novel’s rebellious protagonist Winston Smith comes around at the end to fall prey to the same cult of personality that allows the government overseer — Big Brother — to remain in power… With concerns over the use of personal data fresh in the mainstream news, we’ll run a series of articles that will take a closer look at U.S. tech giants both in terms of the types of data they track and the purposes for which that data is used.

Executives for America’s tech giants refuse to come to Congress to testify on net neutrality

The Facebooks, Googles and Netflixes of the world, edge providers that provide Internet services via websites but not an Internet connection like ISPs offer, have every reason to support the current net neutrality regime at the FCC because it benefits their bottom line, preventing ISPs from charging them for the incredible amount of bandwidth which they eat up. Proponents of net neutrality have presented the debate to the public as the individual consumer versus the larger ISPs, which has been successful in increasing regulations for ISPs having much smaller subscriber bases and lower market capitalizations than edge providers. While ISPs are prevented from zero-rating, or offering digital content for free to subscribers, under the current net neutrality regime, Facebook and Twitter are increasingly offering live sports broadcasts for free to their users.

Following the money trail from Mapbox to the Kushners and Trump Administration

There are clearly many thousands of companies both large and small with far greater experience and in a far better position to advise Congress on the issue of patent reform. So why Mapbox? As is so frequently the case whenever business and politics intersect, follow the money! We have done just that and we’ve found that a no-name, no-experience company like Mapbox, without any patent applications and no patent litigation experience became thrust into the public debate over patents because all the money people behind Mapbox are card carrying members of the anti-patent efficient infringer lobby.

Is Trump being bamboozled by Obama holdovers on patent policy?

The USPTO’s Obama holdovers Michelle Lee and Tony Scardino are simply co-opting the exact language used in Obama’s budgets for fiscal years 2015 to 2017 into Trump’s 2018 budget and then directly attributing Obama’s policies and statements to President Trump even though Trump has never taken a position on anti-patent legislation… Are these failed Obama era policies now carried over into the Trump Administration by Obama holdovers simply mistakes? Some sort of scrivener’s error? Or is it a direct attempt to carry over failed Obama policies in the name of President Trump? You be the judge. Perhaps you can tell me: Is Trump being googled by Obama holdovers? Or is Trump himself the swamp?

Patently Surreal: The Obama Strategic Plan on IP Enforcement

It is almost impossible to believe this report is the work product of the Obama Administration. The section on patents, which begins on page 134, reads like a cross between a Monty Python skit and a Soviet era, propaganda laden news report. Perhaps the Obama Administration is trying to rewrite history and brainwash the entire industry into believing that President Obama has been a tremendous defender of the U.S. patent system. Simply stated, the Obama Administration can write all they want about the importance of the patent system and how patents are critically important for innovation, but the reality is that the future of American innovation has been forfeited (or at least heavily mortgaged) by a calculated, intentional, and willful dismantling of the U.S. patent system for the benefit a handful of politically well connected companies that helped President Obama get elected and then re-elected.

Obama’s Anti-Patent Bias Led to the Destruction of His Legacy

Barack Obama came to office with the suspicion that patents caused higher prices and created market inefficiencies. He set a mission to disassemble the patent system, which culminated in the America Invents Act… Obama supplied power to the market incumbents, thereby fortifying their monopoly power, while depriving market entrants of critical tools. By strengthening incumbents and their industrial oligopolies, he harmed competition from market entrants, policies that generated the slowest growth in history.

Senate passes 21st Century Cures Act, President Obama expected to quickly sign bill into law

Earlier today, by a vote of 94 to 5, the United States Senate overwhelmingly passed the 21st Century Cures Act. Having passed in the House, the Cures Act now goes off to the White House for the President’s signature, where it will receive a warm reception. “I’ll sign it as soon as it reaches my desk, because like a lot of you I’ve lost people I’ve loved deeply to cancer,” President Obama said in his weekly address on December 3, 2016, as he called upon Congress to act swiftly to pass the legislation and send it to the White House.

The America Invents Act Five Years Later: Reality, Consequences and Perspectives

At exactly 11:42am on September 16, 2011, President Barak Obama signed the America Invents Act into law. As President Obama put his pen down he said: “All right guys, congratulations, the bill is signed.” It was at this precise moment that U.S. patent laws dramatically changed forever. With this in mind, over the next two weeks we will be examining the AIA in great detail in a special AIA 5th Anniversary series. I’ve invited a number of guests to comment, discuss and/or editorialize about the AIA. Below is a sneak peak of some of the contributions already received. As articles are published this preview article will be updated with links to the entire series.

President Obama nominates Karen Gren Scholer to Eastern District of Texas

Karen Gren Scholer has been nominated to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. If confirmed, Scholer, who was born in Tokyo, Japan, will become the first Asian American to serve as a federal district court judge in Texas or any of the courts encompassed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a territory that encompasses Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Merrick Garland’s deference to federal agencies should be concerning to patent owners

Given the fact that the IPR processes at PTAB have been worrisome for many patent owners, the possibility that Merrick Garland would continue his longstanding deference towards federal agencies should cause at least some concern. Many believe the procedures creating the post grant challenges implemented by the America Invents Act (AIA) are not only one-sided against the patent owner, but fundamentally unfair to the point where due process has been compromised. Rubber stamping agency decisions, as the Federal Circuit is doing with the USPTO, would be a terrible mistake and further erode already tattered patent property rights.

Beware the Ides of March: How Surrogates Will Set Patent Policy

In 2008 the surrogates did at least increase the emphasis on having some form of post grant challenge procedure in the bill that would pass Congress and be signed into law. Their work began to surface in March 2008 by way of surrogates speaking at public and private events focused on innovation related issues. While the campaigns today may not spend many bytes on patent policy soon enough surrogates will be convening at events around the country to discuss innovation policies. If innovation policies or broader tech issues matter the time to get involved is now. As the field of candidates continues to narrow it will become increasingly more difficult, and more costly, to influence policy.

Federal funding for a cancer moonshot is not a terrible idea

To hear Ars Technica say it is ”a terrible idea” to devote increased funding in order to eradicate cancer is astonishing on many levels. As part of the reason why he believes increased funding for cancer research is a terrible idea he explains that great strides have been made with respect to treatments and cures, which is true. Of course, it is also true that people are dying and they are dying horrible deaths. With the victories and advances that have been made over the last generation it is no longer fanciful to dream of a day when cancer can become eradicated. So why is it a terrible idea to devote more resources on a so-called cancer moonshot to attempt to once and for all put an end to this scourge? For anyone to call President Obama’s cancer moonshot a terrible idea is nothing short of cruel, and is frankly incredibly stupid.

President Obama continues technology focus in his final year

The administration of the 44th President of the United States will be remembered for many reasons, but one theme which has been playing out since the earliest days of Barack Obama’s presidency is a predilection towards using popular and developing technologies. In his first few months in office, President Obama created the position of U.S. Chief Technology Officer, an official adviser to the President on tech policy and a role currently served by Megan Smith, a former executive at Google. Obama’s techie status is cemented by media reports of his long-time adherence to BlackBerry phones as well as his warm attitude and close relationship with major Silicon Valley players.

Conservatives Should Have No Part of Patent Reform

”We have corporate interests masquerading the drastic overhaul of the patent system as mere tort reform… It makes no sense to undermine long-standing property rights to address a supposed litigation explosion that doesn’t exist with a supposed tort solution that doesn’t apply.”

USPTO budget increases for FY 2016 despite reduced fee estimates

This latest budget increases the amount of money that will be available to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, although the amount specifically appropriated is less in FY 2016 than it was in FY 2015. This has lead some to incorrectly claim that the USPTO will have access to less funding in FY 2016 compared with FY 2015. According to the IPO, the FY “2016 budget proposes that the agency will draw from its operating reserves and other income to fund its total estimated obligations of $3.499 billion, including enhanced investment in its IT infrastructure.”