Monthly Archives: October 2014

October 27, 2014 | News, Press Releases

Pew Partners with The Internet Association to Help Voters ‘Get to the Polls’

Washington, D.C. — With the U.S. midterm elections less than two weeks away, The Internet Association and The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Voting Information Project, in conjunction with the world’s leading technology companies, are launching “Get to the Polls” ( to help voters find all the information they need before voting Nov. 4.

Get to the Polls, powered by the Google Civic Information application programming interface, or API, will allow voters to find their official polling place, hours of operation, and full ballot summary based on their residential address.

“We joined forces with The Internet Association and technology powerhouses from across the Web to make official election information available where people look for it most—online and on mobile devices,” said Zach Markovits, who manages Pew’s Voting Information Project, a partnership of state election officials, Pew, and Google. “Thanks to our technology partners and election officials from across the country, voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will have this information at their fingertips, freely and easily available.”

The organizations taking part in Get to the Polls include:

• Amazon Web Services • AOL • Bing • Facebook • Foursquare • Google • The Internet Association • Lyft • Meetup • Pew • reddit • SurveyMonkey • Tumblr • Twitter • WordPress

“The Internet has transformed the way that people interact with each other, with businesses, and with their elected officials,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association. “Our partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Voting Information Project provides voters with the resources they need to have their voices heard.”

The Voting Information Project is working to connect voters with the election information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day.

The Google Civic Information application programming interface, or API, is an open, free data source created to provide useful civic information, including elections data powering Get to the Polls. To learn more, visit


The Internet Association represents America’s leading Internet companies and their global community of users. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth, and empower users. Learn more at

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at

October 17, 2014 | News, Press Releases

The Internet Association Files Amicus Brief in Landmark Patent Case

Appellate Legal Filing Seeks to Prevent “Widespread Disruption of the Global Internet”


Washington, D.C. – As abusive patent litigation remains a problem in the U.S. court system, The Internet Association stands in support of legal action to prevent the International Trade Commission (ITC) from stretching its patent law authority to regulate the Internet.

In an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, The Internet Association argued that the ITC’s position – that the agency has jurisdiction over all electronic signals transmitted into the United States – is an overreach of the Commission’s authority and urged the Court of Appeals to make clear that the ITC cannot enjoin the transmission of electronic data. The Internet Association’s brief argues that the ITC’s decision would “risk widespread disruption of the global Internet and to essential American economic interests.”

“This landmark patent law case has enormous implications for cloud computing, the free flow of information between countries and the future of a free and open Internet,” said Abigail Slater, Internet Association Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Policy. “The ITC believes it can use patent law to regulate all electronic data entering the United States. We believe the Commission’s position is unlawful, unenforceable, and harmful to global Internet commerce.”

The amicus brief contends that the ITC overstepped its patent authority in two key regards: (1) that Commission has jurisdiction only over tangible objects, not electronic data; (2) the Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to articles that “infringe,” and that do so when imported.

The case centers on the ITC’s jurisdiction in patent cases. Section 337 of the ITC’s enabling statute allows owners of U.S. intellectual property to seek to block “articles that infringe” a patent from entering the U.S. market. However the term “articles that infringe” has long been defined as tangible objects, and does not include electronic data. Previous court rulings have made clear that digital data cannot be treated as “articles that infringe” because electronic signals cannot be patented. The determination that digital signals are not patentable means that a digital signal cannot be an “infringing article” within the meaning of the ITC’s statute.

“It is extremely important for the Court to clarify that the ITC Act does not extend the scope of exclusive rights beyond the intent of Congress,” continued Slater. “Extending ITC remedies beyond congressional intent will hurt Internet users and threaten large investments in the Internet’s infrastructure.”

Cloud computing realizes enormous efficiencies through economies of scale, allowing users to benefit from reduced cost and increased network reliability. It touches every sector of society – including large and small businesses, schools and universities, and governments. But the cloud can only deliver its benefits to the economy if data can be stored, processed, and served in identical ways throughout the world. Any ITC remedy negatively impacting electronic data transfer into the United States would serve to undermine the benefits of the cloud to customers, both large and small. The ITC acknowledges that an exclusion order is unworkable for electronic data transfers over the Internet because the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service would be unable to enforce such a remedy. The Internet Association’s brief argues that an ITC cease and desist order is similarly unworkable:

“The [ITC] statute makes clear that the authority to issue cease and desist orders does not extend to cases where an exclusion order is unavailable – a conclusion that is reinforced by the legislative history and the ITC’s prior consistent practice.”

“It is a known fact that patent litigation has run amok and is clogging our court system. The trial bar is now trying to convince the ITC to get into the act. Internet innovators need clear rules, not more uncertainty. We urge the Court to hold that the ITC may not stretch U.S. patent law to enjoin the transmission of data over the Internet.” said Slater.

The Internet Association’s amicus brief can be viewed here.


October 16, 2014 | News, Statements

Statement on Michelle Lee’s Nomination

Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement on President Obama’s nomination of Michelle Lee as the Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office:

“The Internet industry applauds President Obama’s nomination of Michelle Lee as the Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Lee understands the importance of a properly functioning patent system for the U.S. economy, and is the right person to lead the USPTO. We look forward to continuing to work with Ms. Lee and the USPTO on solving the important challenges facing our patent system.”


October 10, 2014 | News, Statements

Statement on President Obama’s Net Neutrality and Patent Reform Remarks

Washington, D.C. – The Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issues the following statement on President Obama’s net neutrality and patent reform remarks:

“President Obama made clear tonight that a functioning Internet industry is essential for continued innovation and economic growth in the U.S. Enforceable net neutrality rules and meaningful patent reform will allow businesses to innovate and grow free of artificial hinderances like slow lanes and patent trolls.

“The FCC should side with the vast Internet user community in creating enforceable net neutrality rules for both mobile and home broadband that serve to protect innovation online. The Internet should remain a place where users can access the content they desire at the speeds they pay for. Segregation of the Internet into fast lanes and slow lanes will distort the market, discourage innovation and harm Internet users.

“The Internet industry applauds the President for speaking out in support of patent reform. Patent trolls abuse the legal system as a weapon against innovation. They suck $80 billion out of the economy each year, and target thousands of businesses — large and small — with frivolous lawsuits in hope of profiting from settlements.”


October 7, 2014 | News, Press Releases

Canada’s Internet Economy is Primed for Takeoff

The Internet Association whitepaper suggests Canada’s digital economy can match or surpass G20 peers in five years with supportive tax policy


Washington, D.C. – Today, The Internet Association released a new whitepaper, Reasserting Canadian Internet Competiveness, which concludes that the current competitiveness gap between Canada’s digital economy and those of other G20 nations can be closed with smart public policy. Representatives from Google Canada, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey will participate in an Internet Association panel at the Economic Club of Canada on October 7th to discuss the importance of the digital economy to Canada’s future growth and what Canada can do to maximize the benefits for businesses of all sizes and types.

“The proliferation of Internet-enabled systems and devices allows businesses to innovate and grow, helps Governments to provide services, and expands human capacity to interact, collaborate, and share knowledge,” The Internet Association notes in the whitepaper. “As Canada’s policy-makers struggle to improve the country’s competitiveness, a key part of the answer is hidden in plain sight. The future performance of the Canadian economy is dependent on the dynamism of the Internet economy.”

According to a 2014 report by Comscore, Canada ranks number one overall in the number of web pages visited per month, and a separate report conducted by CIRA, indicates that Canadians are second only to the United States for the average number of hours spent online per user. While Internet usage in Canada is high, only 45.5 percent of Canadian businesses have a website. The whitepaper identifies increased adoption of the Internet by small and medium sized businesses as a clear area for economic growth.

“The Government of Canada can grow the Internet economy with supportive policies like tax credits that encourage small and medium sized businesses to adopt digital technologies,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association. “Promoting Internet access nationwide and increasing STEM education will ensure Canada’s workforce has the skill set needed for a 21st Century economy and help Canada close the competitiveness gap that exists with other G20 nations.”

The Internet Association whitepaper can be found by clicking here.

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IA and Columbia’s Richard Paul Richman Center today released a new research paper entitled, “Toward A Better Understanding Of Internet Economics.”

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