#thecircuit

August 24, 2012

Apple, Samsung: As a jury deliberates in the U.S. District Court case between Apple and Samsung, a three-judge panel in Seoul decided that both companies had infringed on each other’s patents and ordered a sales ban on older iPhones, iPads and Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

While the latest models of the gadgets — the iPhone 4S and the Gsalaxy S III, for example — weren’t included in the ban, the South Korean court did find that Samsung had infringed on a patent governing touchscreen scrolling behavior and that Apple had infringed on a mobile technology patent.

Other courts around the world have found that the patent Samsung asserted in the South Korean case was a standard-essential patent and therefore had to be licensed to competitors at a fair price. In comments to the Associated Press, patent expert Florian Mueller said that South Korea’s ruling could mean that foreign-based companies will have a harder time challenging LG and Samsung on their home turf in the future.

Amazon stock hits high: Amazon shares hit an all-time high of $246.87 Friday, following news that the company is expanding its instant video library to include content from NBC-Universal and amid speculation that the company will be releasing a new Kindle Fire in the coming weeks.

Amazon has sent an invitation to the press for an event on Sept. 6 in Santa Monica, Calif., at which the company is expected to release a new version of its basic tablet — perhaps one that’s closer in size to Apple’s market-leading iPad.

White House innovation fellows: The White House named 18 people to the first class of “Presidential Innovation Fellows” Friday, The Washington Post reported. The announcement kicked off five projects that take on “touch but tractable challenges” with solutions that “could provide immediate benefits and cost-savings to American citizens,” the White House said in a release. U.S. Chief Technology Office Todd Park announced the first class — selected from a pool of nearly 700 applicants — who will spend six months in Washington to work on the projects.

As the Hill noted, the list caught the eye of some critics who pointed out that only two of the 18 fellows were women. In response, Park said on Twitter: “Diversity in tech is a challenge & priority- need 2 get the word out further about opportunities like PIF.”

GOP reportedly set to put out Internet freedom plank: The Daily Caller reported that the Republican party is preparing to announce an Internet freedom plank as part of its campaign for the 2012 election.

The idea, championed on both sides of the aisle, came into the forefront during the debate over a pair of online privacy bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act, that were shelved in May.

The language in the platform would reportedly call for the removal of “regulatory barriers” in the technology sector, maintaining a multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and more protection for personal data online.

The Democrats have also been trying to get a mention of Internet freedom into their party platform. As the Hill reported Wednesday, four Democratic lawmakers — Reps. Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Doris Matsui of California and Jared Polis of Colorado have asked the Democratic National Committee to include a stand for global Internet freedom in the party platform.

In statements Friday, the Copyright Alliance and the Business Software Alliance both urged politicians to protect the rights of content creators as they consider officially championing Internet freedom.

“I urge the Democratic and Republican parties to recognize in their platforms that Internet freedom and free markets are closely intertwined — and a free-market Internet must include protections for intellectual property,” Robert Holleyman, president of the BSA, said in a statement.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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