Entries with tag barack obama.

White House Announces Crackdown on Patent Trolls

US President Barack Obama has announced various executive actions and recommendations designed to stop abuses from patent trolls and patent exploitation. Patent trolls are companies that buy patent portfolios solely to make money by suing firms they accuse of infringement. Frequently, sued companies agree to settlements out of fear that a jury trial could result in huge damages, even if they believe they didn’t infringe on any patents. A Boston University study found that patent trolls cost US businesses $29 billion in 2011, according to The Hill, a newspaper that focuses on the US Congress. Critics say the practice is unfair and ties up resources that companies could use to design useful new products. They also say that trolls utilizing the patents they own only to file lawsuits keep companies from making good use of the technologies involved. Among Obama’s patent reforms are more training for patent examiners and the creation of educational materials to help businesses that patent trolls target. (Mashable)(The Hill)(The Washington Post)

US Senate Blocks Cybersecurity Legislation


The US Senate failed to pass a bill designed to protect the United States from cyberattacks Thursday amid concerns from opponents. They said they were worried that bill could threaten personal privacy and create an additional layer of government bureaucracy. Of the 100 senators, only 52 of the 60 needed for passage voted for the bill. The bill was backed by President Barack Obama and national-defense officials, saying the legislation was needed to protect critical infrastructure. In a statement, the White House said this “comprehensive piece of cybersecurity legislation” failed as the result of “the politics of obstructionism, driven by special interest groups seeking to avoid accountability.” Observers expect the Senate to revisit the issue after its summer recess. (PhysOrg)(AFP)(Reuters)

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