House members introduce cellphone unlocking bill: Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced a bill Thursday to legalize the practice of cellphone unlocking, which allows consumers to take their phones between carriers.
The bill directs the U.S. Copyright Office to determine whether to grant consumers the right to unlock other wireless devices that run on cellular networks as well.
“This bipartisan legislation is focused on protecting consumer choice,” said Goodlatte in a release. “By restoring the cellphone exemption, the power is put back in the hands of the consumer.”
The measure introduced Thursday is a companion bill to legislation introduced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators.
Tech CEOs ask for immigration reform: Several prominent members of the technology community, including chief executives Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo asked the president and other lawmakers to reform immigration laws to make it easier for foreign-born students in specialized fields to remain in the country.
The executives signed a letter, organized by the group TechNet, urging the administration to make changes to existing laws in order to promote American innovation.
“Immigrant entrepreneurs have gone on to found thousands of companies with household names like eBay, Google, PayPal and Yahoo! to name just a few,” the letter said. “These companies provide jobs, drive economic growth and generate tax revenue at all levels of government.”
Others who signed the letter include Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman and Intel’s Paul Otellini.
Patent hearing: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on abusive patent litigation Thursday — an issue particularly pertinent to the technology industry, which has seen a rising trend of companies suing each other over software and other patents.
In his opening statement, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said that he would like to see reforms in the patent system to keep the courts free of cases filed by patent trolls.
“The patent system was never intended to be a playground for trial lawyers and frivolous claims,” he said. “Abusive patent troll litigation strikes at the very heart of American innovation and job creation.”
Judge orders Apple’s Cook to testify: A federal judge has ordered Apple chief executive Tim Cook to testify in the company’s government lawsuit over e-book prices, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Apple is the only remaining defendant in the case, after major publishers also named in the case settled with the Justice Department on charges that the “agency model” used to set e-book prices on Apple’s iTunes marketplace was a conspiracy to keep prices artificially high.
Apple declined Bloomberg’s request to comment on the deposition.
Samsung prepares for big launch: Hype ahead of Thursday’s launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone is reaching levels typically reserved for products from top smartphone rival Apple.
This is new territory for Samsung, which has clawed its way to a leading 29 percent of the global smartphone market by releasing a broad range of devices at different price levels but hasn’t released a single model that can sell better than Apple’s iPhone.
Samsung has been pouring large amounts of money and energy into making its Galaxy smartphone a flagship device, and the success of this new device will be crucial to Samsung’s ability to keep its leading position in the smartphone market.