OVERNIGHT TECH: Internet sales tax bill clears Senate

“We recognize this fight is not over, but it’s clear that Americans’ belief in a free and fair marketplace is winning the day. As more Members join the 60 House cosponsors from both parties who are already supporting this effort, we're confident that the House will take up and pass this long overdue bill this Congress," the group said.
 

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“The contentious debate in the Senate shows that a lot more work needs to be done to get the Internet sales tax issue right, including ensuring that small businesses using the Internet are protected from new burdens that harm their ability to compete and grow," Brian Bieron, senior director of global public policy at eBay, said in a statement. The online auction site is pushing for lawmakers to raise the small business exemption to $10 million. 

Schumer introduces patent troll bill:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Monday aimed at cracking down on "patent trolls" — firms that buy up cheap patents, find companies using similar technologies and then threaten to bring them to court for infringement unless they agree to an expensive settlement.

His bill, the Patent Quality Improvement Act, would require that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sign off on all patent lawsuits before they can move to the courts. The office would be able to reject a lawsuit if it determines the suit is likely based on an invalid patent. The bill would amend a provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act that applies only to the financial service industry and would expand it to all sectors.

“The legislation that I’m introducing in Congress today will finally crackdown on patent trolls that are preying on our nation’s technology companies,” Schumer said in a statement. “This bill will save these companies billions of dollars in litigation fees by allowing the Patent and Trademark Office to review unwarranted claims in lieu of expensive lawsuits.”

Librarian of Congress appoints two Copyright Royalty judges: Two new faces are joining the Copyright Royalty Board. David Strickler and Jesse Feder were appointed by Librarian of Congress James Billington on Monday to serve as judges on the board. Strickler will serve as the economics specialist on the board, while Feder will be the copyright specialist, according to the Library of Congress. Among its responsibilities, the Copyright Royalty Board makes decisions on royalty rates.


ON TAP

The deadline for amendments to the Senate Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration bill is Tuesday afternoon. The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up the bill on Thursday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate Commerce Committee will livestream a briefing direct from the International Space Station. NASA Astronaut Tom Marshburn will brief the committee. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Aereo sues to block more CBS lawsuits: Web TV service Aereo filed a lawsuit on Monday aimed at preventing future lawsuits from CBS.

CBS and other broadcast companies have already sued Aereo in New York, claiming the service steals their copyrighted material. But two federal courts have rejected their initial requests to shut down the company.

DHS urged to hire outsider for new cyber chief: The Department of Homeland Security is weighing whether to look outside the federal government for a new point person on cybersecurity.

The search comes after Mark Weatherford, the former deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity, left the department for a private sector job with The Chertoff Group.

FTC refuses to delay online privacy rules for kids: The Federal Trade Commission has refused calls from industry groups to delay the implementation of its regulations aimed at protecting the online privacy of children.

The commission voted unanimously on Monday to move ahead with the planned July 1 implementation date.

Former NTIA official Gomez joins Wiley Rein: Anna M. Gomez, who recently left the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), has joined Wiley Rein, the law and lobbying firm announced on Monday.

She will work in the firm's Washington office as a partner in its communications practice. The firm lobbied for AT&T, Verizon, CBS, the National Association of Broadcasters and others in the most recent disclosure period.


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