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Tech at Night: Earthquake, Wireless Spectrum crunch, PATENT WARS: Episode IV

Tech at Night

Even as the FCC hems and haws about AT&T’s quest for spectrum via T-Mobile, new evidence has come out that we simply need more spectrum for wireless Internet. The overload of the wireless networks in the parts of the east coast the felt the Virginia earthquake says it all.

And remember: new spectrum means new investment to use that spectrum, which means jobs and economic growth.

PATENT WARS: Episode IV: A New Patent Holder. Microsoft is coming after Motorola’s Android phones, which I find interesting given Google’s interest in buying Motorola’s phone business. This is pretty much a direct strike at Google by Microsoft.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Samsung’s tablet has been cleared of infringing on an Apple patent, while a preliminary injunction has been granted against three Samsung phones. Samsung did succeed in invalidating one of Apple’s design registrations in the process, though.

And in the US, Verizon sees itself as in the crossfire and is asking Barack Obama to do something about the patent wars going on right now. Fat chance, though? After all, this same President supported the America Invents Act, which was the American Bar Association’s pet bill to change America’s patent system. No longer do we award patents to the first person to invent something. We now give it to the first person to file the patent, that is, the person (or as is usually the case, the major corporation) with the better team of patent lawyers at his disposal.

I had a friend float the idea that it was not inconceivable for me to become a patent lawyer myself. It’s not my thing, but I can see why he said it.

Of course patents aren’t the big problem with the Obama administration hindering innovation. Regulation is the issue. Says Heritage: “Since taking office in January 2009, in fact, the Administration has imposed 75 new major regulations, with additional costs exceeding $40 billion annually. Only six deregulatory actions have been taken in that period, resulting in a net increase in regulatory cost of more than $38 billion a year.”

And the next big power grab coming might be PROTECT IP, the national Internet censorship bill now endorsed by the Washington Post. Ugh.

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