President Obama goes after patent trolls: The White House on Tuesday announced that it has created a task force to examine the actions of patent trolls, or companies that buy patents and use them, aggressively, in intellectual property litigation.
“Stopping this drain on the American economy will require swift legislative action,” the White House said in a release Tuesday. The White House laid out several legislative objectives and executive actions in a fact sheet on the proposal, including provisions to make sure that any company that sends patent demand letters must disclose their ownership.
Apple trial: Apple’s late co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs was a central figure in the Justice Department’s suit against the firm Monday, The Washington Post reported, as officials pulled quotes from Jobs’s e-mails to publishers to illustrate their claim that Apple worked with publishers to orchestrate a price-fixing scheme for e-books.
As The Post reported, Apple says that the quotes from the e-mails were taken out of context, and noted that Jobs can no longer be questioned about his intent.
Another Apple executive who as emerged as a central figure in the case, Apple’s vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, will testify on June 13.
Jill Kelley sues Pentagon, FBI: Jill Kelley, whose complaints to the FBI about harassing e-mails revealed an affair between Gen. David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell, said in a complaint that the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation violated her privacy, the Associated Press reported.
The Pentagon had previously announced that it was looking into e-mails between Kelley and Gen. John Allen for evidence of an inappropriate relationship, but later conceded that only a handful of their communications were of a flirtatious or questionable nature, the report said. Kelley said that the Pentagon’s search of her e-mails was in violation of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and said that she and her husband have suffered reputation damage as a result of those privacy breaches.
State of Wireless hearing: The Senate subcommittee on technology issues will examine the state of the wireless industry Tuesday in an afternoon hearing that will likely include extensive discussion on spectrum auctions.
While no representative from a mobile carrier will testify at the hearing, CTIA-The Wireless Association president Steve Largent, as well as Competitive Carries Association president Steven Berry will likely speak about the industry conflict between major U.S. carriers over how the auctions should be run.
Verizon and AT&T, the nation’s two largest mobile carriers, have asked that they be allowed to participate in the auctions without restrictions. In April, the Justice Department told the Federal Communications Commission that the auctions should be designed to ensure smaller carriers such as T-Mobile and Sprint will be able to compete with their larger competitors.
Amazon, Viacom lock up new deal: Amazon and Viacom announced Tuesday that they have signed a deal for the tech firm to carry exclusive Viacom content, including kids’ shows such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Go, Diego, Go.”
The deal also includes streaming rights for shows from MTV and Comedy Central, the companies said in a press release, such as “Key & Peele” and “Workaholics.” According to the release, Amazon will be adding more content from Viacom in the near future.