Monthly Archives: April 2014

April 29, 2014 | News, Statements

Supreme Court Recognizes Patent Trolls are a Problem: Legislation Still Needed

Congress Must Act Now

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Internet Association’s President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decisions on two fee-shifting cases, Octane Fitness and Highmark:

“Today, the Supreme Court recognized the burden that abusive patent litigation places on American businesses and the urgent need to address the problem. Joining the White House and Congress, the Supreme Court is the latest branch of government to agree that abusive patent litigation must be swiftly and strongly curtailed. The Internet Association welcomes the Court’s ruling to make it easier to shift fees in exceptional cases, but legislation is needed to fully address the problem of patent troll tactics that drive up litigation costs for the purpose of extracting nuisance settlements. Every day that goes by without clear legislative guidance on fee shifting and other necessary reforms to patent litigation hurts innovation and costs jobs. Congress must act now.”

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April 28, 2014 | News, Press Releases, Videos

VIDEO RELEASE: Stop Bad Patents with Broad Group of Pro-Patent Reform Stakeholders

Diverse Industries Come Together to Tell Congress to Act Now to Fight the Terrible Abuses of Patent Trolls

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, The Internet Association released a video outlining the issue of patent trolls and their abuse on the economy. This effort is amplified by leading industry and consumer rights organizations including National Retail Federation, Printing Industries of America, U.S. Travel Association, National Restaurant Association, Public Knowledge, among others. The Internet Association produced the video as an urgent call to action for the U.S. Senate to move forward and swiftly pass meaningful patent reform.

“In our mission to combat patent trolls, The Internet Association welcomes the support of such a diverse group of pro-patent reform stakeholders. These groups represent a huge segment of our economy and demonstrate the breadth of support for meaningful patent reform,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association. “The patent troll problem has gotten out of control, and we need Congress to immediately fix the inequities that allow hard working businesses to be victimized. We need a real solution now.”

The video, entitled Stop Bad Patents, focuses on how patent trolls affect small businesses and tech startups, the astronomical statistics on patent lawsuits, and the overall impact of patent trolls on the Internet economy.

The Internet Association and its member companies are committed to working with Congress to advance patent reform legislation into law and stop patent abuse. Organizations joining the effort include 1776, American Apparel and Footwear Association, American Gaming Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Apps Developers Alliance, Coalition for Patent Fairness, Competitive Carriers Association, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine, Generation Opportunity, i2Coalition, Information Technology Industry Council, Main Street Coalition, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Printing Industries of America, Public Knowledge, R Street Institute, The Travel Technology Association, U.S. Telecom Association, and U.S. Travel Association.

Together we can #fixpatents. Visit: www.StopBadPatents.org.

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April 25, 2014 | News, Statements

Statement Regarding FCC’S Announcement on Net Neutrality Proposal

Tonight, The Internet Association’s President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement regarding the FCC’s announcement on the net neutrality proposal:

“The Internet Association supports enforceable net neutrality rules to ensure that the Internet remains open and free from discriminatory or anticompetitive actions by broadband gatekeepers. We look forward to seeing Chairman Wheeler’s full proposal and will reserve comments based on a complete review until then. However, we are concerned with reports that indicate that the proposed policies risk departing from the history of the free and open Internet by allowing broadband gatekeepers to decide what websites run the fastest. We do not believe that type of policy is consistent with our support for an open Internet founded on consumer choice and innovation. We look forward to working with Chairman Wheeler and his fellow commissioners at the FCC to ensure that the Internet remains a vibrant platform for consumer choice and economic growth. ”

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April 21, 2014 | News, Statements

Calling to End New York AG’s Reckless Fishing Expedition Targeting Airbnb

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Internet Association’s President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement calling for an end to New York’s Attorney General’s attack on New York Airbnb users:

“The New York Attorney General’s government-sponsored fishing expedition targeting Airbnb is unwarranted, unjust, and is unfairly harming ordinary New Yorkers. Airbnb generates positive economic returns for cities around the world, adds millions of dollars to local economies, and brings more people to New York. Airbnb should be welcomed by business and government leaders hungry for a boost in local tourism, not pushed out by politicians seeking to protect incumbents and special interests.”

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April 17, 2014 | News, Press Releases

The Internet Association and Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz Highlight Internet Innovation Empowering South Florida Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Internet Association stopped in Hollywood, Florida for a small business crawl to highlight local entrepreneurs who are using the Internet in innovative ways to grow their businesses, create jobs, and attract new customers. The walking tour included stops at four unique businesses: Hollywood Antique Center, Presence Community Acupuncture, Hispanic Unity of Florida, and Gino’s Market.

The Internet Association’s President and CEO Michael Beckerman led the tour on Johnson Street joined by U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober, area commissioners, and members of the Johnson Street Business District. Internet Association member companies AOL, Yelp, and Uber joined the crawl. Participants gave remarks at each stop and interviewed merchants about how the Internet economy is changing brick and mortar small businesses in South Florida and how Internet technologies are empowering entrepreneurs to reach consumers across the globe.

“The Internet is flourishing on Main Streets in South Florida,” said Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. “The Johnson Street business district is booming with customers and creativity, and there is a strong sense of community here. Today was a unique opportunity for me to learn more about how brick and mortar businesses in Hollywood are utilizing the Internet to engage customers, expand sales, grow their businesses, and create jobs.”

“Today, we heard success stories of how the Internet is driving economic growth in South Florida,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association. “In today’s world, no matter how big or small the shop, the Internet is essential to running and growing a business. Even Mom-and-Pop, brick and mortar small businesses can benefit from the Internet. With an online presence, brick and mortar establishments can connect to consumers who may live a few blocks or thousands of miles away with one click of a mouse.”

For nearly two years, The Internet Association has served as the unified voice of the Internet economy in the nation’s capital, working with Congress, regulators, and the Administration to craft sensible Internet policies for the federal government. The Internet Association is committed to solidifying forward-thinking, consumer-first, Internet policies with federal laws that flourish economic growth and promote the Internet economy on Main Street. The organization has hosted crawls across the country in Lynchburg, VA, Austin, TX, Washington, DC, and Brooklyn, NY. It has also hosted a virtual one via Google+ Hangout in Arkansas. The next small business crawl is expected to take place in the ensuing weeks in South Dakota.

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April 3, 2014 | News, Press Releases, Statements

INTERNET ASSOCIATION URGES SENATE TO BRING STRONG PATENT LEGISLATION TO THE FLOOR

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association, released the following statement in response to the opening statements at the Senate Judiciary’s mark-up on patent reform legislation:

“The Internet Association continues to work with the Senate Judiciary Committee to bring strong patent legislation to the floor. We agree with Chairman Leahy that it is not enough simply to get any bill through the Committee. To be effective, legislation must target the mechanisms that patent trolls use to skew the odds in their favor and to shield themselves from responsibility for misuse of our patent system. At a minimum, strong fee shifting and discovery provisions must be part of that package. The Internet Association also agrees strongly with Senator Schumer that expanding the program for review of covered business method patents is a common-sense measure that would shut off the supply of bad patents fueling litigation by patent trolls. We look forward to continuing our work with the Senate Judiciary Committee to ensure that strong, focused patent legislation emerges from its process.”

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April 3, 2014 | News, Statements

STATEMENT ON CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY BY USTR MICHAEL FROMAN ON PRESIDENT’S TRADE AGENDA

Washington, D.C. – Today, Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association, released the following statement after the testimony by U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Froman at the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee:

“Ambassador Froman’s testimony during today’s House Ways & Means Committee hearing on the President’s trade agenda reaffirms that U.S. trade policy, specifically renewed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), must reflect the emergence of the digital economy. The Internet Association agrees with Ambassador Froman’s assessment that the Internet promotes important values such as access to information and the free flow of information. In addition, promoting fair use as well as protections for online intermediaries available under U.S. law is critical to the continued growth of the Internet. A renewed TPA that reflects these policies will spur job creation and ultimately strengthen the American economy.”

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April 2, 2014 | Letters, News

LETTER ON THE FUTURE OF INTERNET GOVERNANCE

Today, The Internet Association submitted a letter on the future of Internet Governance at the U. S. House Energy and Commerce hearing, “Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet.”

Excerpt: We appreciate the opportunity to share our thoughts on the future of Internet Governance and why we support the recent announcement regarding the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) oversight authority over important technical Internet functions.

To view the letter, click here.

April 1, 2014 | News, Press Releases, Videos

SENATOR SCHUMER AND THE INTERNET ASSOCIATION TELL CONGRESS TO TAKE ACTION NOW TO STOP BAD PATENTS

In His First-Ever Google Hangout, Senator Schumer Leads Online Panel on Critical Patent Reform Solutions to Combat Patent Trolls

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, New York’s senior Senator Charles Schumer and The Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman led a Google+ Hangout to highlight the need for reform harmful impact of patent trolls on the innovation economy and discussed the solutions federal reforms would provide. Senator Schumer discussed the reckless harm patent trolls are causing to New York businesses including AOL, Inc., Etsy.com, Foursquare, and Union Square Ventures. Participants discussed how innovative Internet technologies have grown the economy and created jobs in New York communities and how the extortionist behaviors of patent trolls threaten their businesses.

Click here to watch the highlight reel

“As the Senate gets even closer this week to considering patent reform legislation, hearing stories from companies like Union Square Ventures, Etsy, AOL, Foursquare and others about the real economic toll patent trolls are taking becomes even more important,” said Senator Schumer. “When it comes to making sure American businesses – especially small businesses – can thrive and grow, patent reform is one of the most important things we in Congress can do. It’s why I was one of the first out of the gate on the issue, and why I won’t let up until we pass strong, effective reforms that will eradicate the scourge of patent trolls plaguing startups and other US innovators.”

“The time to act is now,” said Michael Beckerman. “The Internet Association applauds Senator Schumer’s leadership and hopes that the Senate will follow his lead to deter the abusive litigation practices of patent trolls wielding low-quality patents. At a time when patent trolls are taking $80 billion out of the economy each year and threatening businesses across the country, Congress must pass strong bipartisan reforms to combat patent trolls and promote innovation and economic growth.”

Jeff Roberts, the Law & Policy Reporter at Gigaom moderated the livestream discussion.

Click here to watch the archived webcast.

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Latest News

Top Internet Business Leaders Confirmed To Speak At Internet Association’s Third Annual Virtuous Circle Summit BECKERMAN: “The value of the Virtuous Circle Summit is the conversations that take place when you bring together the leading voices in the internet innovation and policy space.” Washington, DC — Today, Internet Association announced its initial list of confirmed speakers Read more »

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