Last week I visited the U.S. capital and had the pleasure of meeting so many people – members of Congress, leaders of technology corporations and associations, concerned citizens - who understand the Internet risks of today.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will vote Wednesday on a bill to open up the government's spending data.
The bipartisan Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act, directs the Treasury Department to transform the government's tangled web of financial, grant, and procurement reports from disconnected documents into structured data, then publish the whole corpus online.
The first major patent reform legislation in years is only two years old, yet the patent system remains plagued by wasteful litigation that is harmful to innovation. Fortunately, new patent reform legislation addressing these problems is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill.
Every community across this country has its haves and have-nots, those with or without the digital literacy and access needed to put the Internet to work for their lives. America’s digital divide remains far too real. It is more important than ever to talk about getting all of us up to speed.
The popular mind connects the idea of patents with specific inventions: the telephone, the light bulb and the proverbial better mousetrap.
In reality, patent law is much more complex. The current information-driven economy has revealed shortcomings in the way patent law addresses innovations involving software and the information technology processes. To extend the mousetrap analogy, the way today’s technology patent process works it’s as if you can merely describe the process of baiting, trapping and killing the ordinary household rodent and gain the leverage to sue for patent infringement anyone who actually designs and builds any new mousetrap.
The bipartisan Innovation Act introduced last week by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is a strong response to the economic burden of patent trolls. This bill, which has both bipartisan and bicameral support, will reduce the unfair advantages and incentives that patent trolls rely on. It will also strengthen the patent system while making patent litigation more efficient, transparent, and balanced. The end result will be a boost for businesses across the country, and ultimately our economy.
It may sound like something remarkable happened in the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning when the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held its hearing on “The Evolution of Wired Communications Networks.”
With the introduction of Rep. Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) patent reform bill today, the march for patent reform is moving forward. But a small, though growing, chorus is trying to halt this march under the guiding light that changes to the patent system should “do no harm.” As owners of patents, they parrot the meme that change might negatively impact their possessions and even their property rights.
Scientific enterprise faces its greatest challenge in decades. The effects of the federal shutdown, combined with budget cuts implemented this year as a result of sequestration, pose a significant barrier to healthcare innovation in both the public and private sectors.