The Circuit: Patent reform, cuts to Web freedom funds, Twitter’s lost founder

LEADING THE DAY: The House Judiciary Committee will meet today to mark up the America Invents Act. In addition to a manager’s amendment from chairman Rep. Lamar Smith(R-Tex.), the Hill reported that several other amendments are also expected.

The bill, which is similar to one that passed the Senate, has the support of the Obama administration and many large technology companies. It faces opposition from some who believe it will hurt small inventors and others who believe adding a third post-grant review process is unnecessary.

A consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, has also raised concerns that the bill removes some incentives to prevent falsely labeling products as patented.

State Department cuts Internet freedom funds: The State Department is cutting its budget to promote Internet freedom, The Washington Post reported. The program is intended to help people in countries with heavy Internet censorship to reach sites blocked by the government. The 2011 budget bill is expected to decrease funding to the fund for programs such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe by one-third.

Twitter’s lost founder: Noah Glass, an early contributor at Twitter, told Business Insider that he was pushed out of the company and feels betrayed. Evan Williams said via Twitter yesterday that it was true that Glass “never got enough credit for his early role at Twitter,” and credited Glass with naming the product.

The interview with Glass comes as Facebook faces legal trouble from an early investor and collaborator, Paul Ceglia, who claims to have the right to 50 percent of the company.

DOJ takes on botnet: The Justice Department and the FBI announced that they have taken down a ring of Internet thieves who have infected more than 2.3 million computers with malware. The group ran a botnet called Coreflood, which exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The software could gather consumer banking information by recording key strokes, the Associated Press reported. The program might still be running on infected computers. Microsoft is directing affected users to a dedicated Web site to remove the software.

Safari inserts do-not-track: Apple’s Safari browser might be getting a do-not-track feature. Citing reports from online discussion forums of early releases of the company’s next operating system, the Wall Street Journal reported that the test version of the browser has a tool to allow consumers to keep their online from being tracked by marketers.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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