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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

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Brian Fung

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 07/24/2012

Samsung, Apple patent cases continue #thecircuit

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 banned in Europe: A judge in Germany ruled that a ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 should be extended beyond Germany to the rest of the European Union. The device, the court said, infringes on Apple patents.

CNET reported that the court did not, however, ban the Galaxy Tab 10.1N — a tablet that Samsung redesigned in part to avoid questions about infringing on Apple design patents — and said that the original ban against sales of the larger tablet should be lifted.

Apple, Samsung execs disagree on patent value: According to a report from Reuters, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and top executives from Samsung have been in discussions about the value of the patents that each of the companies hold.

The report, citing an unnamed “source familiar with the matter,” said that Apple and Samsung are having trouble coming to terms over how much the standard-essential patents Samsung holds are truly worth. Apple believes that the standard patents should have a lower value, the report said, and Samsung believes it has a stronger portfolio in areas such as 4G networks.

Lawmakers ask FCC to avoid expanding carriage rules: Republican lawmakers urged the Federal Communications Commission not to take an “expansive interpretation” of the regulations dealing with what programs cable networks air.

In a letter, Republican lawmakers disagreed with the agency’s recent decision on program carriage that required Comcast to move the placement of the Tennis Channel on its service near other sports channels that Comcast owns — though the letter did not mention the case by name.

The letter says that the most recent ruling could be read to “enable programmers effectively to force their way onto a cable operator’s system by merely alleging that their programming is similar enough to the operator’s affiliated programming.” The letter was signed by Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as 32 other members of the committee.

AT&T posts $3.9 billion profit: AT&T announced a strong quarter Tuesday morning, saying it saw $3.9 billion in profit, which beats analyst expectations.

The company saw a 34 percent margin on its wireless business and sold 5.1 million smartphones in the second quarter. According to a release from the company, smartphones accounted for 77 percent of postpaid device sales.

AT&T also said Tuesday morning that it has sold 3.7 million iPhones, solid sales that investors of Apple are watching closely to get a hint of what the tech giant may report later today in an earnings report of its own.

TIA white paper on cybersecurity: The Telecommunications Industry Association issued a white paper Tuesday arguing that private-public partnerships are the best way to address cybersecurity threats facing companies that control U.S. critical infrastructure.

The paper cautioned that restrictive legislation could have a negative impact on cybersecurity because it would force companies to drop a “successful public-private partnership model” in favor of one that requires mandatory compliance.The group did say, however, that the government should invest more heavily in information and communications technology research, particularly in cybersecurity research and development.

Senators are working this week to push a vote on cybersecurity legislation.

By  |  01:50 PM ET, 07/24/2012

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