Voices

Bill on Patent “Trolls” Seen Likely to Pass House

Supporters are confident that legislation designed to cut down on abusive patent lawsuits will pass a House vote this week, despite late objections from several groups on the right.

Don’t Regulate Me, Bro! Social Casino Companies Band Together to “Inform” Lawmakers.

The social casino gaming trade group ISGA wants to stop government regulation before it can start. Whether it’s going to start is another question.
myvegas-slots-on-facebook

News Byte

Silicon Valley Congress Members Try to Save Patent Funding

Three Silicon Valley U.S. Congress reps are trying to exempt the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from budget sequestration. Their proposed bill would unlock $150 million worth of fees and allow progress to continue on opening new patent offices, including one in Silicon Valley. While growth in patent applications, patent stockpiling and especially patent lawsuits has made many techies wary of the space, the lawmakers are calling this the Patents And Trademarks Encourage New Technology (PATENT) Jobs Act and saying speedy patent approvals promote economic growth.

Voices

Tech Firms Back Obama Patent Move

Technology companies welcomed the Obama administration’s decision to wade into the debate over patent litigation, seeing a chance to stem a flood of lawsuits they say is hurting innovation.

Voices

eBay Asks Users to Fight National Sales Tax Bill

eBay Inc. is trying to enlist its users in a fight against a national online sales tax bill.

Voices

Reid Seeks to Expedite Online Sales Tax Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is setting up online sales tax legislation for a possible vote on the Senate floor after the chamber completes work on gun legislation.

News Byte

West Virginia May Ban Google Glass-ing While Driving

West Virginia legislators proposed a bill on Friday aimed at Google Glass that would ban using a wearable computer with a head-mounted display while driving a car. What’s ironic is Google is building the device to try to distract people less than smartphones already do. But that still may be too much for lawmakers. Either way it’s a smart stunt to get out ahead of upcoming outcry, just like the Seattle bar that preemptively banned Glass.

Voices

Google’s Driverless Car Draws Political Power

Google has been working with a network of local lobbyists and in-house policy experts to woo legislators with demonstrations and rides in its exotic cars.

News Byte

Facebook Beats Its Own Quarterly Lobbying Spending Record

Facebook spent $960,000 on lobbying Congress in the second quarter, according to a recent disclosure filing. That’s the most the company has spent on lobbying in a single quarter, as National Journal notes. Among the issues lobbied were various consumer privacy acts, do-not-track legislation and the Global Online Freedom Act. Google also broke its own second-quarter record, spending close to $4 million.

Sound Bites From the SOPA Strike