Josh Mendelsohn's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the the-engine-edition dept

When a group of entrepreneurs, early-stage investors, and others in the startup community started Engine Advocacy almost a year ago, we set out to help policy makers understand startups while also bringing awareness of the importance of the policymaking process back to startups. Techdirt was a guiding source.

This week, I offer my perspective gained in Washington as an Engine steering committee member learning about the sausage-making process. I've grown to respect and reject elements of lawmaking and bring that back to the startup world.

A recurring theme any reader of Techdirt can't miss is the horrible exploitation of the patent system. What started with Patent Trolls is beginning to turn the tech community on itself. But the courts are largely to blame as well, either through miseducation and ignorance or opportunism. This week, when the USPTO announced the introduction of third-party commenting, they presented some potential opportunities for startups to formally engage in the fight against overbroad patents. It will be important experiment.

Despite this step in the right direction, recent "reform" that moved the country to a first-to-file system requires startups to be vigilant and show proof of prior work or suggest why a patent should not be granted when overbroad. This significant burden has been painted as reform but it will provide cover to those who have been granted vague or overbroad protections.

On the same theme, the Techdirt team has another good post recapping the decision against RIM that assessed $147.2m in damages for accused infringement on a questionable patent. The cycle continues.

AT&T's ambiguity this week around plans to charge users an additional fee for accessing Apple's Facetime product over 3G/4G was also disappointing given the potential chilling effect it poses. Many users are already paying outsized fees for data plans that aren't keeping pace with technological development. Should carriers follow this path, they will limit user choice, establish further precedent for restricting content, and effectively double-charge users.

Further, Engine is generally concerned about the allocation and use of the nation's spectrum resources and committed to making sure innovative wireless technologies are not limited by poor policymaking. Engine recently co-hosted an event with Stanford's Center on Internet and Society and Gigaom emphasizing the importance of innovation and opportunity on unlicensed spectrum.

Finally, on a lighter note, Techdirt reported this week on three separate and equally laughable Olympic flaps all related to "brand" protection. These range from the brand police to the restaurant forced to change its name. Nevermind the White House's call for Americans to throw Olympics-related parties. The absurdity of the IOC has been an amusing theme this spring, though awash in the sea of brand-related marketing hype surrounding the events. But then again, this is an IOC that requires 3000 chauffeured cars for the events -- and each driver needs to be in black hat.

Snarkiness aside, Engine has been up to some pretty neat work. We'll shortly be issuing a policy briefing book to help educate congressional candidates as well as a detailed report helping demonstrate startups' massive impact on the U.S. economy. If you'd like to stay informed, sign up here. If your company would like to join our 300+ members, you can do so here. There's no cost to become a member, but signing up helps us understand where our membership is located and invite your company to relevant events -- say a district meeting with your member of Congress.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Millionaire Maker Team, Jul 21st, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Your Future is created by what you do to today, not tomorrow

    Yes Finally, on a lighter note, Techdirt reported this week on three separate and equally laughable Olympic flaps all related to "brand" protection. These range from the brand police to the restaurant forced to change its name. Nevermind the White House's call for Americans to throw Olympics-related parties. The absurdity of the IOC has been an amusing theme this spring, though awash in the sea of brand-related marketing hype surrounding the events. But then again, this is an IOC that requires 3000 chauffeured cars for the events -- and each driver needs to be in black hat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    One more pirate, with his pirate apologist articles of the week.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2012 @ 6:31pm

    Re:

    One more monoplist, with his monopoly apologist troll comments of the week

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Jul 21st, 2012 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Hey, be fair: It's not the monopolies that are all that bad. It's not allowing them to die out naturally, codifying their protection in law, the associated regulatory capture and political corruption, and the pond scum sucking bottom feeder bitches trying to defend the whole state of affairs that are ruining the future of our culture.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2012 @ 9:48pm

    Re:

    Are we getting desperate proto dictator.
    Your monopoly is gone, I will make sure of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2012 @ 10:42pm

    Seems more like a paid advertisement for your group. Why not concentrate on the site here, and not trying to tie everything to what your group is doing?

    Social marketing doesn't always work, especially when you are way to obvious about it (EAT AT BOB'S BURGERS!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2012 @ 5:02am

    Re:

    EAT AT BOB SAGAT'S

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    The shills go from being ambiguous (that fails) to arguing that anti-competitive laws are about the artist (that fails) to arguing that they're somehow good for society (that fails) back to being ambiguous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2012 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re:

    and you, well, you just waste space and bandwidth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    SmokeMagnetic (profile), Jul 22nd, 2012 @ 9:57am

    No one gives a shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2012 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ROCK SOLID LOGICAL ARGUMENT!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I hope you are not a comedian son, because if you are I can understand why you are so upset about your earnings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    COCK LIQUID ABSURD AGREEMENT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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