Technology

OVERNIGHT TECH: Aereo to talk patents

THE LEDE: Broadcasters will get two hours to grill Internet-TV service Aereo on the patents it holds, despite the company’s objections, a New York magistrate judge ruled Monday. 

Judge Henry Pitman ruled that Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia and Chief Technology Officer Joseph Lipowski must submit to one hour each of deposition regarding Aereo’s patents.

The deposition will come as part of the copyright-infringement case between Aereo and broadcasters, who claim the company is infringing their copyrights by digitally streaming broadcast content.

Aereo has argued that its technology is “not substantially different from what consumers could accomplish with off-the-shelf components,” which could mean the company is not irreparably harming broadcasters, Pitman wrote. However, in its patent applications, Aereo claimed its technology is new in that it allows users to view broadcast content on “other video-capable devices.”

“Although the two positions are not irreconcilable, there is a certain tension between them sufficient to warrant examination,” Pitman wrote.

The ruling echoes Pitman’s ruling from June, which said Kenojia and Lipowski should answer questions about the company’s patents during deposition.

Aereo requested that the court reconsider the June ruling, and Pitman denied that request Monday, dismissing Aereo’s arguments that its patents are irrelevant to the copyright case.

Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to pole fees: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a challenge from power companies to a Federal Communications Commission order on pole attachment rates.

{mosads}The FCC regulations lower the fees that the phone companies must pay the power utilities to attach their lines to poles. The FCC enacted the order in an attempt to encourage the expansion of broadband Internet access. The new rules could save the telecom companies hundreds of millions of dollars per year.  

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has rightly put a final stake in the efforts of the electric utility industry to delay the FCC’s implementation of the statute’s clear directive,” USTelecom Vice President Glenn Reynolds said in a statement. “We are hopeful that these companies will now come to the table to negotiate reasonable attachment rates and conditions and, where they continue to refuse, that the FCC will move quickly to enforce its pole attachment rules.”

MPAA counters piracy study: In a Monday blog post, the Motion Picture Association of America took issue with a recent study from the London School of Economics, which indicated that online piracy isn’t hurting the content industry. The study doesn’t consider all the factors that lead to revenue in the content industry, leading to uninformed claims that the content industry isn’t suffering from piracy because its revenues aren’t declining, the post said. 

“From a scientific standpoint you cannot simply look at revenues either increasing or decreasing at the most general level and deduce the specific impact of piracy,” the MPAA said. “So many factors go into determining an industry’s topline annual revenue.” 

ON TAP

Lawmakers and other officials are scheduled to speak at a Politico event on cybersecurity at D.C.’s Newseum on Tuesday. Speakers will include NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, White House Cybersecurity Coordinate Michael Daniel, Homeland Security Department Under Secretary for Cybersecurity Phyllis Schneck, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas). 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation warns that an appeals court ruling against Google could be “devastating” for the economy

Technology companies and government groups — including Google and USAID — launched the Alliance for Affordable Internet to expand Internet access around the world.

Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.) is demanding that Time Warner Cable explain an email that he says shows the company “pandering” to Republicans on ObamaCare.


Please send tips and comments to Brendan Sasso, bsasso@thehill.com, and Kate Tummarello, katet@thehill.com.

Follow Hillicon Valley on Twitter: @HilliconValley, @BrendanSasso, @ktummarello  

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