The Circuit: Google earnings, Groupon IPO, patent reform passes House Judiciary

LEADING THE DAY: Google shares fell in after-hours trading after the company revealed its first-quarter earnings, the Associated Press reported. Google’s earnings rose 18 percent, but the company also dramatically raised spending. Spending increases were mostly the result of new hires to bolster Google’s advertising staff and to promote Chrome, the company’s Web browser.

New Google CEO Larry Page spoke for only a couple minutes on the call to say he is excited by the company’s momentum and optimistic about its future.

Groupon plans its IPO: Groupon is planning to pick Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to underwrite its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that the company could be valued for as much as $15 billion to $20 billion. Groupon has dominated the social coupon market but is facing competition now from many daily deals companies such as LivingSocial and Facebook.

House Judiciary passes patent reform: The House version of a patent reform bill that would fundamentally alter U.S. patenting procedure passed the Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The America Invents Act, sponsored by Judiciary chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), also establishes a new post-review procedures for patents that allows third parties to submit information on any patent application.

The measure passed by a vote of 32-3.

RIM defends PlayBook: RIM co-CEO Jim Basillie defended the BlackBerry PlayBook against negative reviews, telling Bloomberg that the product is something the company can grow in the future.

He said he did not think criticism saying that the PlayBook was rushed to the market was fair, and that the tablet will be particularly useful for RIM’s broad base of BlackBerry users. He also said the company will announce an over-the-air e-mail client for the tablet soon.

NSTIC event today: The White House will release its plan for an online national security initiative, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, today. The initiative seeks to improve the security of online transactions by making online log-ins and passwords more secure. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt will take part in the event.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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