Innovation Policy

Unions threaten state’s one economic bright spot

In a Meet the Press interview in March, Gov. Jerry Brown blasted the Trump administration’s threat to cut off funds to California if it becomes a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants. …

No, Tucker, Google shouldn’t be regulated as a public utility

Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson didn’t appreciate Google’s decision last week to fire engineer James Damore for circulating through company channels his critique of Google’s diversity efforts. Therefore, …

R Street’s voting guide for SXSW panels!

VOTING ENDS AUGUST 25!!!! We’ve put together some great policy panels for next year’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP to get in the final conference …

What’s stopping technological progress in Game of Thrones?

For as far back as we can trace the history of Westeros (estimates range from about 8,000 to 12,000 years), the technology and economy of the world has been more …

Regulators should think twice before cracking down on ‘augmented reality’

A Milwaukee County regulation requiring special permits to use digital apps in county parks is facing a First Amendment challenge from the makers of augmented reality app Texas Rope ‘Em. In a …

R Street comments on NAFTA renegotiation

Founded in 2012, the R Street Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit pragmatic free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. We support limited but effective government. We believe that …

Letter: Don’t mandate DSRC

Dear Secretary Chao and Chairman Pai: We write to inform the Secretary that we are wary of NHTSA’s recent moves to standardize Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) as a …

Regulatory barriers are stifling the contact lens industry

In the science fiction novel Rainbow’s End, contact lenses equipped with what we would now call "augmented reality" allow wearers to overlay different images, filters or virtual scenes on top …

Here comes the attempt to reframe Silicon Valley as modern robber barons

It's difficult for me to read Jonathan Taplin's cri de coeur about Google and other technology companies that have come to dominate the top tier of successful American …

Permissionless innovation vs. the precautionary principle

Jonathan Taplin worries the “unfettered monoliths” of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon undermine democracy and should be broken up. In Europe and elsewhere, this combination of companies is …

R Street applauds Florida Senate passage of ridesharing legislation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 19, 2017) – The R Street Institute welcomes today's vote by the Florida Senate to approve H.B. 221, long-overdue legislation designed to regulate Florida’s ridesharing …

The ‘fixed AI’ fallacy

As Andy Kessler points out in The Wall Street Journal, a tax on robots would hinder entrepreneurial activity in automation and artificial intelligence (AI). The same algorithms that …

‘Right to Know Act’ puts lawyers’ interests ahead of consumers

The Right to Know Act has a great ring to it. Even if you don’t care to read the substance of the legislation—sponsored by state Sen. Michael Hastings, …

Local laws threaten the global future of augmented reality

The following op-ed was co-authored by Daniel Oglesby, research assistant with the R Street Institute. The intense, if fleeting, popularity of Pokemon Go helped demonstrate the market potential of …

Westworld shouldn’t frame debate over artificial intelligence

In the HBO show Westworld, guests are immersed in a Western experiential theme park populated by human-like robots bordering on self-awareness. The show exploits and exacerbates natural anxieties about …

Hobson talks tech on ‘Mike Check’ show

R Street Tech Policy Fellow Anne Hobson appeared last week as a guest on the popular “Mike Check” show on KVOI-FM in Tucson, Arizona. Along with hosts Mike …

‘Fake News’ is repackaging an old debate

Fake news isn’t new. As far back as 1927, The American Mercury’s H.L. Mencken remarked on “the problem of false news” and the decay of American journalism in …

Why the FCC should wait on privacy rules

Chairman Ajit Pai wants an emergency vote this week by the Federal Communications Commission to halt implementation of new rules on how internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon …

Feds have an abysmal track record when it comes to cybersecurity

The following op-ed was co-authored by Daniel Oglesby, a research associate with the R Street Institute. Despite work by Congress to pass more than 50 laws to address cybersecurity, the …

The Senate should pass the Email Privacy Act without delay

With Congress consumed by political battles, there's still a glimmer of hope for bipartisanship on privacy issues: The House last week passed the Email Privacy Act by unanimous …

Aligning cybersecurity incentives in an interconnected world

In the stop-motion animated short “Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers,” the protagonist Wallace’s alarm clock kicks off a Rube Goldberg-like chain of machines and devices that dress …

CTA previews Innovation Policy Day at SXSW

The Consumer Technology Association welcomed R Street Tech Policy Fellow Anne Hobson to take part in a recent Facebook Live panel to preview the Innovation Policy Day programming …

CBS show ‘Hunted’ spotlights our surveillance nation

I'm no fan of reality TV, but I was sufficiently intrigued by the premise of CBS' "Hunted," which promises $250,000 to any of nine teams of contestants who …

Does Congress have the technology it needs to govern?

During its first two centuries of operations, Congress conducted business the old fashion way: with paper and pencil and face-to-face. Over the past 25 years, however, the legislative …

Hobson talks ‘Poképolicy’ on the Tech Policy Podcast

Last summer's megahit game Pokémon Go was many Americans' first introduction to the notion of "augmented reality," in which artificial visuals are superimposed onto the real world. R …

Trump’s patent policy should put America first, not the patent lobby

The following op-ed was co-authored by Charles Duan, director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge. President Donald Trump campaigned on a platform to put America first and protect American …

Politicians should stay out of cybersecurity market

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Tech Policy Fellow Anne Hobson. As online crime has come into its own, ransomware—a particularly insidious type of cyber attack—has emerged …

The erosion of ownership in the digital age

When you buy a book from the store, no one doubts that you own it completely. You can take it home, write in its margins, lend it to …

The Future of Work: Capturing the American Dream in an internet-enabled economy

As we race toward a technologically enhanced future, internet-enabled technologies continue to disrupt markets and industries at a breathtaking clip. Corporations see exponential increases in productivity from internet-enabled …

Regulating ‘internet of things’ requires a better definition from lawmakers

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration—the U.S. Department of Commerce agency that advises the White House on telecom policy—published a green paper outlining what it saw as the department’s role …

R Street Panel: The expertise gap between Silicon Valley and Washington

It shouldn't be surprising that our elected representatives don't always understand new technology. Rather than being early adopters, most of them are at least a decade behind the …

Cybersecurity in the internet of things is a game of incentives

Cybersecurity was the virtual elephant in the showroom at this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Attendees of the annual tech trade show, organized by the Consumer …

The Twitter presidency

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Technology Policy Fellow Sasha Moss. Franklin D. Roosevelt was famous for his “fireside chats” — evening radio addresses that helped …

Artificial intelligence is set to remake event experiences

2016 was a big year for droids, as two different installments of the Star Wars series finished among the year's 10 highest-grossing films. But elsewhere in the universe, …

Join us tonight for Le Hackie Awards

DC Legal Hackers hosts its third annual Le Hackie Awards tonight, an event to honor companies, organizations, legal hackers and the best legal hacks of 2016. For those not …

Criminals in 2017 may have to commit crime like it’s 1999

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Criminal Justice Director Arthur Rizer.  Las Vegas will be inundated with 150,000 tech geeks this weekend flocking to the Consumer Electronics Expo, …

It’s time for SCOTUS to weigh in on digital fair use

The following op-ed was co-authored by Charles Duan, director of the Patent Reform Project at Public Knowledge. It's been almost 10 years since Stephanie Lenz was informed by Universal …

Seven bold, probably unpopular, political predictions for 2017

At the end of 2016, social media buzzed with Americans intentionally sharing their unpopular opinions. While I wasn't aware that anyone on Twitter or Facebook ever held back …

Yes, fewer traffic fatalities is a good thing!

Outlet bias is a hallmark of the bored and lazy, and also of The Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro. Taken by the recent headline of a piece I wrote with …

Self-driving cars will make organ shortages even worse

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Senior Fellow Ian Adams. Much has been said about the ways we expect our oncoming fleet of driverless cars to change …

Kraft case a reminder that Congress should enact patent system reform

The U.S. Supreme Court announced earlier this month it will hear the appeal of a patent infringement case brought by Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC against zero-calorie sweetener …

Don’t demonize bitcoin, blockchain, Tor and other online privacy tools

“Can bitcoin be used for good?” read the headline of an April article in The Atlantic. It’s not just a headline writer’s attempt at provocative rhetoric. The phrases “darkest …

In internet of things era, cybersecurity for autonomous vehicles will require restraint

The following op-ed was co-authored by Darren Teshima, a litigation partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in San Francisco. Concerns about the vulnerability of America's physical infrastructure have long …

A national law needed to protect online freedom of speech

The following op-ed was co-authored by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who represents Texas' 27th congressional district. Christmas is almost here. While Santa Claus knows who’s been naughty or nice, …

January promises an end to FCC’s zero rating attack

There’s a quote posted in the guidance counselor’s office at my son’s middle school: “Fairness isn’t everyone gets the same.” Unfortunately, that is how outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman …

R Street panel on NHTSA rules for self-driving cars

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its much anticipated self-driving vehicle guidelines, instant reaction was generally favorable. But upon further reflection, a more complicated picture was …

Robot scalpers and the BOTS Act

The current system for allocating tickets to popular events leaves a lot to be desired. Most tickets for the most popular shows are pre-allocated to fan clubs, VIP …

The promise and limits of private cyber insurance

The wonders of the Internet Age have brought with them a previously unimagined level of interconnectedness among people and institutions around the world. The power and mobility of …

Snapchat spectacles and the creep factor

We're all amateur documentarians now, which is why sunglasses equipped with Wi-Fi-enabled cameras are a natural next step in the world of wearables. Snap Inc.’s Spectacles allow users …

Time for a reset breath on tech antitrust

Just as the Senate was holding hearings on the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger last week, an interesting tidbit of information crossed my tablet: a story finding that …

R Street’s guide to policy events at SXSW 2017

In addition to its high-profile music and film festivals, Austin's South By Southwest (SXSW) also hosts one of the biggest annual gatherings of technologists, activists, government officials, entrepreneurs …

Can the FTC write an Rx for the contact lens market, or is legislation an aye for an eye?

A patient walks into an optometrist’s office for an eye exam. He walks out an hour later with a box of contact lenses, conveniently purchased in-office with the …

Consumer Review Fairness Act heads to Obama’s desk

The U.S. Senate this week gave unanimous consent to H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, legislation that would protect reputational information online. Having previously passed the House …

Will the Trump administration revisit net neutrality and zero rating?

Network neutrality, the most significant piece of internet regulation championed by the Obama administration, might be yet another casualty of the coming Donald Trump presidency. That wouldn’t be …

Cybercrime and the war on digital free speech

The internet is increasingly a target for those who want to silence speech. An Oct. 21 cyberattack rendered social media sites like Twitter and Reddit and news sites like …

Letter: No ‘copyright coup’ at all in Washington

Casting Dr. Carla Hayden as a puppet of the tech industry or the library-industrial complex diminishes the obvious accomplishments that led her to become the first African-American and …

Discussion: Government regulation and the internet of things

The R Street Institute hosted an expert panel last month to explore ways in which the “internet of things” is affecting cybersecurity, privacy and ownership rights. With cyberattacks …

Are robot scalpers ripping you off? Do we need government to stop it?

The following op-ed was co-authored by Christopher Koopman, a senior research fellow with the Project for the Study of American Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason …

A jack of all trades

The following op-ed was co-authored by Aaron Perzanowski,  professor of law at Case Western Reserve University. When Google announced its new line of Pixel smartphones, it directed some not-so-subtle …

Cuba: Mi casa es su casa

There is a truism, fashionable in American foreign policy circles, that the liberalization of trade will, over time, soften the contours of authoritarian regimes, as the oppressed become …

Catching the Third Wave: A tale of two tech-policy battles

In his recent book "The Third Wave," AOL founder Steve Case outlines what the latest generation of technology companies will need to do to succeed, stressing the importance …

Five bad arguments against public access to CRS reports

This week the progressive organization Demand Progress, along with the Congressional Data Coalition, launched EveryCRSReport.com. This new project site makes available, with the help of friendly Congressional offices, …

Don’t over-regulate driverless technology

Self-driving vehicles promise an exciting future, but whether the technology will see widespread adoption in the near term is anything but certain. Among the first hurdles to clear …

Congress should unveil American surveillance

Revelations that Yahoo allegedly scanned hundreds of millions of user emails for the National Security Agency and the FBI underscores the pressing need for Congress to reevaluate federal …

Why we need federal anti-SLAPP

Donald Trump has promised that if he becomes president, he’s going to “open up those libel laws so when The New York Times writes a hit piece we …

R Street panel on transferring IANA functions

Don’t adopt ‘overregulate ’em all’ strategy on game apps

After 74 days on the market, Pokemon Go last week lost the top revenue spot in Apple's U.S. app store to Clash Royale, although it remains the highest-grossing …

Where is Pokemon Go-ing?

After 74 days on the market, Pokemon Go this week lost the top revenue spot in Apple’s U.S. app store to Clash Royale, although it remains the highest-grossing …

Reality Check: The regulatory landscape for virtual and augmented reality

The mobile game Pokémon Go burst onto the scene in July 2016 and, within weeks, had acquired an amazing 45 million daily users. Alas, its popularity began to fade just as …

Republicans want to attach Ted Cruz’s internet governance language to the government-funding bill. It could blow up in their faces.

The following post was co-authored by R Street technology policy program director Zach Graves. SOURCE: Giphy Sept. 30 marks the end of the federal government’s fiscal year, which means both Republicans …

NHTSA forces Cal DMV to walk back self-driving car rules

The California Department of Motor Vehicles attempted to force one of the most promising automotive innovations in history to do what people waiting to register their cars do …

R Street sees NHTSA guidance on self-driving cars as positive step

WASHINGTON (Sept. 20, 2016) – The R Street Institute responded to this morning's release of guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety …

How pirates shaped the internet as we know it

Today is “International Talk like a Pirate Day.” While it’s a lot of fun to act like a pirate, drink rum and catch up on Errol Flynn movies, …

Anne Hobson on the ICANN transition and the future of internet governance

On Oct. 1, the National Telecommunications and Infrastructure Administration’s  (NTIA) contract with the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) expires and the transition to a …

Lawrence Strickling cites R Street in Senate hearing on internet governance

You can see the full video of the hearing here. Also see R Street's analysis of the arguments for and against the transition. …

Michigan makes its play to be center of self-driving car universe

In the race to innovate, there often are rewards for being first. Just as technology firms and automakers vie to roll out the first scalable autonomous vehicle, so …

Strengthening congressional oversight of the intelligence community

Domain name not resolved: Breaking down the debate over the ICANN transition

The following blog post was co-authored by R Street Senior Technology Policy Program Director Zach Graves. Is Obama giving away the internet? According to some conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz, …

Strengthening congressional oversight of the intelligence community

The attached white paper is a joint product of the R Street Institute, DemandProgress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and FreedomWorks. The U.S. House of Representatives created the House Permanent …

Congress’ new opportunity to protect free speech: Voting to pass SPEAK FREE

As a computer hobbyist 30 years ago, I already could see where this online chat thing was going. Long before the word "internet" became part of the universal …

Vote YES on H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act

The R Street Institute encourages all members to support passage of H.R. 5111, the Consumer Review Fairness Act. This bill is expected to be considered under suspension of …

Musicians can’t always get what they want when politicians use their songs

It’s campaign season, which means politicians are stumping all around the country trying to win your vote. Candidates do this through a number of methods – television commercials, …

Louis Vuitton can’t take a joke

Charles Caleb Colton (and later, Oscar Wilde) is famous for the phrase, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” In the world of trademark, such "flattery" happens often. …

Musicians’ brief in ‘Blurred Lines’ case: Overly broad copyright stifles creativity

A group of musicians that includes John Oates of Hall & Oates, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and Rikki Rocket of Poison has filed an amicus brief in the …

DFS and the right to gamble – even a little bit

With football season two weeks away, we can expect an uptick in interest in fantasy-sports leagues and their controversial offshoot, daily fantasy sports (DFS). The kerfuffle over DFS speaks …

Self-driving cars could cut parking revenues

There were groans all across Sacramento when the City Council approved yet another expansion of parking zones around Golden 1 Center, the city’s new $507 million arena. The …

Microsoft’s leaky ‘boot’ offers another reason to preserve encryption

Gandalf: A Palantír is a dangerous tool, Saruman. Saruman: Why? Why should we fear to use it? Gandalf: They are not all accounted for, the lost Seeing Stones. We do …

These songs are our songs

There are certain songs that live in our hearts as quintessentially American; songs that have taken their place in history and encapsulate the American spirit. Two of these …

The status quo for music licensing is far from perfect, but it works

The U.S. Justice Department last week concluded its multiyear review of consent decrees for the two largest performance rights organizations (PROs), the American Society of Composers (ASCAP) and …

Letter to California Supreme Court on Hassell v. Bird

The attached letter was co-authored by R Street General Counsel Cameron Smith.  Re: Hassell v. Bird, 247 Cal. App. 4th 1336 (Court of Appeal Case No. A143233) Dear Hon. Justices, The …

Bay Area making life difficult for tech firms

In most of the country, a region’s “big” industry – think automotive companies in Michigan’s heyday, the oil business in Houston and entertainment in Los Angeles – is …

R Street’s voting guide for SXSW policy panels

Here at R Street, we’ve put together some great policy panels for next year’s SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. But we need your support to get in the …

R Street responds to DOJ review of ASCAP and BMI consent decrees

WASHINGTON (Aug. 4, 2016) – Following a two-year review of the antitrust consent decrees that govern coordinated action by the major performing rights organizations the American Society of …

The DOJ and the future of music

Music fans might be understandably puzzled by how it is that new revenues from the online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify could top $2.4 billion last year, yet …

The EU’s misguided call to ban zero rating

The net neutrality debate has come to Europe. Following a go-ahead European Parliament in October 2015, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is writing the …

R Street response to BEREC on zero-rating and net-neutrality guidelines

  This letter represents a response by R Street Institute to recent public comments on your proposed guidelines for network-neutrality rules. Because R Street interprets some of these comments …

Most of the world still isn’t online, and that’s a problem

According to the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union, 4.2 billion people –nearly two-thirds of the world's population – have no internet access. This massive untapped population – largely …

Internet governance and the free market

With the U.S. government set to relinquish its last vestiges of its control over the internet's functions through the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), R Street hosted a panel …

IANA transition delay would increase ‘inherent distrust’ in multistakeholderism, NTIA official says

From Washington Internet Daily: NTIA Associate Administrator Fiona Alexander cautioned Friday against Congress using its legislative powers to delay the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority transition. Congressional intervention against the …

Kelsey Smith’s parents watched with hope, but bill named for slain daughter was doomed in Congress

From Kansas City Star: Nathan Leamer, a senior policy analyst for the R Street Institute, a conservative research center in Washington, was driving home on Sunday, May 22, the …

Congress didn’t pass bill named for their slain daughter. Why not?

From San Luis Obispo Tribune: Nathan Leamer, a senior policy analyst for the R Street Institute, a conservative research center in Washington, was driving home on Sunday, May 22, …

Congress didn’t pass bill named for their slain daughter. Why not?

From McClatchyDC: Nathan Leamer, a senior policy analyst for the R Street Institute, a conservative research center in Washington, was driving home on Sunday, May 22, the night before …

We made the message loud and clear: Stop the Rule 41 updates

From Electronic Frontier Foundation: Today, the Internet has come out in full force. Dozens of websites are running the “Reject the Rule 41 Proposal” banner. Over 50 organizations and …

Why the Senate should reject expanding National Security Letters

The following post was co-authored by R Street Internet and Tech Policy Fellow John Arzinos. The U.S. Senate will vote today on the “ECTR Fix” amendment to the Commerce, …

Godwin talks anti-SLAPP laws at CKI panel

R Street Innovation Policy Director Mike Godwin joined a number of other notable panelists to discuss strategic lawsuits against public participation ("SLAPPs") and what legal and legislative strategies are …

SLAPPing Back: Addressing the legal threats to online free speech

From Medium: “We have traditions of strong protections of anonymous speech, and the First Amendment provides enough freedom to allow for anonymity,” added Mike Godwin, the director of innovation …

A plea to Congress not to ‘fix’ a music market that isn’t broken

Dear Congress, By now, maybe you've read the "Dear Congress" letter that many music companies and individual artists have signed asking you to "fix" the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—a …

As Congress weighs anti-SLAPP legislation, stories abound on chilled free speech

From Washington Internet Daily: Historically, free speech, libel and First Amendment laws have been about the institutional press, but now such laws apply to all people, said Mike Godwin, …

The end of the free speech consensus

What happens when the consensus for free speech evaporates and those with political power become willing to use any means necessary to silence people who hold unpopular views? …

Amicus brief for Apple v. Samsung

Five years ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit construed a statute in a way that led to one of the most disastrous episodes …

Google to France: We can’t pick this Bonaparte

Today's announcement from Google that the company will appeal a French agency’s order to abide by France’s version of the so-called "right to be forgotten" all over the …

Congress, not DOJ or the courts, should decide whether to update music-copyright framework

Tom Lehrer’s famous recording of his song “New Math” begins with the joke that, in teaching basic mathematics in the New Math way, “the important thing is to …

Broad coalition supports bill to curtail forum shopping in patent litigation

Dear Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Leahy and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, On behalf of the undersigned civil-society and public-interest organizations, we write to express strong support for …

Lessons from Prince’s legacy and struggle with digital music markets

Undeniably, Prince’s death last week marked the loss of a true musical genius and maverick. In his life, he was known for being a talented musical innovator with …

Amicus brief for Impression Products v. Lexmark International

According to the patent exhaustion doctrine, once a patentee sells an article embodying the patented invention, “the patentee may not thereafter, by virtue of his patent, control the …

You, too, should celebrate the end of the Google Books litigation

If you felt a vibration in the air this morning, it may have been the final sigh of relief so many of us heaved when the U.S. Supreme …

Re:Create Coalition comments on DMCA safe harbor provisions

Pursuant to the notice of inquiry published by the Copyright Office (the Office) in the Federal Register at 80 Fed. Reg. 81, 862 (Dec. 31, 2015), later extended …

New bill designed to stop egregious venue shopping by patent trolls

This piece was co-authored by R Street Outreach Manager Nathan Leamer. Abusive patent litigation siphons tens of billions of dollars from the economy every year. In addition to burdening …

Galveston, Savannah offer nation’s best rules for short-term rentals

WASHINGTON (March 16, 2016) – As services like Airbnb and HomeAway grow in popularity, a new study from the R Street Institute of 59 of the largest U.S. …

When copyright law jams your toaster

It seems clear enough that copyright law ought not prevent users from programming a digital device that they own outright. We at R Street have said this before …

New Report: Opposition to Free Basics plan in India is shortsighted

WASHINGTON (March 11, 2016) – February's victory by net-neutrality activists to shut down Facebook’s Free Basics initiative in India might kill the country's best near-term hope to address …

R Street disappointed in onerous Corpus Christi ordinance that hurts ridesharing drivers and riders

WASHINGTON (March 10, 2016) – The R Street Institute is disappointed at news that ridesharing company Uber will cease operations in Corpus Christi, Texas, due to onerous regulations …

Sixteen years later, just how ‘bubbly’ was the tech-bubble peak?

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the very top of the notorious tech-stock bubble, which in retrospect, was truly remarkable for its illustration of “irrational exuberance." On March 10, …

R Street’s guide to policy events at SxSW 2016

Every year, tens of thousands of people swarm to Austin, Texas for SxSW – one of the biggest annual gatherings of technologists, activists and entrepreneurs in the country. Here …

Apply now for an innovation policy fellowship at R Street

The R Street Institute is now accepting applications for its 2016 Google Policy Fellowship. R Street’s Google fellow will have the opportunity to contribute op-eds and blog posts, …

Would ‘100 percent licensing’ unshackle the market for music, or make it worse?

As we’ve covered in recent months here at the R Street Institute, the U.S. Justice Department is in the midst of its review (and possible modification) of the …

Joint brief from libertarian groups on U.S. Copyright Office software study

The attached brief was co-signed by Ryan Hagemann of the Niskanen Center and Wayne T. Brough of FreedomWorks.  The signatories listed below are libertarian organizations whose mission is to engage in …

Happy Fair Use Week from the R Street Institute

Every time anyone create a meme or posts a gif to social media that makes use of someone else's original idea, he or she is engaged in "fair …

Comments to U.S. Copyright Office on embedded software

The R Street Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization (“think tank”), whose mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets …

Donate to R Street, get a signed Godwin’s Law poster

For a limited time, make a tax-deductible donation to R Street of $100 or more and we’ll send you a free original poster of Godwin's Law signed by …

David Bowie’s legacy on copyright and the future of music

The following was co-authored by R Street Innovation Policy Director Mike Godwin. Amid the steady stream of "hot takes" the past few weeks on the legacy of the late …

Cosplay and the courts

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a...cease and desist order? This week, a panic spread among cosplayers that a recent Supreme Court case on copyright infringement might have …

Video introduction to the Re:Create Coalition

The video below was filmed to introduce the world to the Re:Create Coalition, a broad collection of groups from across the ideological spectrum who agree on the need …

Copyright Week: R Street’s greatest hits!

Advocacy groups and think tanks across the nation are celebrating Copyright Week this week, intended to highlight a series of discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright …

These are not the free market rates you’re looking for

This piece was co-authored by R Street Digital Director Zach Graves.  America’s music-copyright world was shaken up in December when the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) issued its long-awaited rate …

Seven cities top R Street annual ‘Ridescore’ for transportation friendliness

WASHINGTON (Dec. 17, 2015) - In the second year of analyzing data from 50 of the largest U.S. cities, seven cities received the top score for friendliness to …

Opening comments at ‘The Politics of Star Wars’ event

My name is Eli Lehrer. I'm president of the R Street Institute and I'd like to welcome all of you to our offices. I'm also a huge Star Wars …

More transparency is necessary in the music royalties system, R Street study finds

WASHINGTON (Dec. 8, 2015) – Musicians and songwriters are hampered in their ability to profit from emerging digital music models by an opaque system in which online streaming …

Transparency in music licensing and the statutory remedy problem

The modern conversation about music copyright has been shaped by the emergence of new digital business models. As these new markets for music open, one might expect the …

Study finds consumers benefit from aftermarket crash parts

There’s a good chance that you are paying more for repairing your vehicle after an accident than you need to be. A new study has found that car …

Why wait until tomorrow? How to speed innovation

There was no such thing as a self-driving car in 2003. That's when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced its first Grand Challenge, with a $1 million …

Remarks prepared for Re:Create Coalition briefing

In the sweaty summer of 1787, our Founding Fathers created the oldest working written constitution in the world. This document, as those of us on the political right …

Using prizes to spur innovation and government savings

In myriad sectors of the U.S. economy, from military technology to medical care, the federal government serves as the single-largest spender. As such, many of the innovations, inventions …

R Street brief refines principles for the future of work in the sharing economy

WASHINGTON (Nov. 10, 2015) – Stable and flexible benefits are good for workers, business and society and public policy should encourage firms to compete across all dimensions to …

How should libertarians think about intellectual property?

Watch R Street's Sasha Moss along with Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute, Wayne Brough of FreedomWorks and Eli Dourado of the Mercatus Center in a panel moderated by Reason's …

Google Books is good for everybody

In 1990, Pierre N. Leval, then serving as a federal judge, ran across an unexpected stumbling block while crafting a Harvard Law Review article about the “fair use” doctrine …

Hey NFL, leave my GIFs alone!

It appears the National Football League is cracking down on the unauthorized proliferation of GIFs and Vines of league-owned content. Sometimes these snippets are of funny incidents or for …

Imbalanced ‘incentives’ hurt creativity more than they help

Are lawyers the driving force behind artistic freedom? Astonishingly, that's the impression you get when you read the Copyright Alliance's account of a recent panel on music copyright …

R Street’s primers on music-licensing laws, decisions and terminology

To aid legal, media and policy discussions about ongoing issues in the worlds of music licensing and copyright, R Street has prepared what we hope will prove a …

Re:Create Coalition urges Congress to modernize Copyright Office

We write today to discuss Copyright Office modernization, an important issue with serious implications for all Americans. We represent all parts of the “information ecosystem”—creators, innovators, users—and, consequently, …

The elephant in the room: The GOP’s tech dilemma

Fifteen months ahead of the presidential election, a number of the 17 Republicans vying for their party’s nomination have invested considerable energy courting Silicon Valley. These candidates are …

Appeals court considers ITC bid to be Internet cop

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments this week in what might otherwise be described as an obscure patent case, ClearCorrect v. International Trade …

Is Carly Fiorina Silicon Valley’s friend?

By all accounts, Carly Fiorina gave a strong performance at the Republican Party presidential debates last week. I initially missed the "undercard" event in which she participated, but …

SXSW policy panels you should vote for

We at R Street have put together what we think are some great policy panels for next year's SxSW conference in Austin, Texas. But we need your help …

Free-market groups urge International Trade Commission not to assert authority over digital transmissions

Dear Chairwoman Broadbent, On behalf of the undersigned free-market organizations, we write to express our deep concern about the International Trade Commission's April 9, 2014 decision in investigation 337-TA-833. …

Congressional Internet Caucus and ‘fractally complex’ music licensing

Speaking at a July 17 discussion hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus on music streaming and Congress' role in the world of music licensing, caucus Advisory Committee Executive …

6 charts that debunk the ‘gig’ economy

The headlines are, by now, depressingly familiar: "more Americans are stuck in part-time work" or "part-time jobs put millions in poverty." Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently …

Conferees should spike IP czar language in customs bill

With customs bills having passed both chambers of Congress, it's now up to conferees to decide if the final legislation will include language from the Senate bill to …

Judge fixes troubling court order in CloudFlare filtering case

I've written before to express skepticism about whether it makes sense for a federal court to order a content-delivery network like CloudFlare to filter its services proactively for …

Free-market, taxpayer and consumer groups to Congress: Support the Innovation Act

Dear Representatives, On behalf of the undersigned free-market, taxpayer and consumer organizations, we write to express strong support for ongoing efforts to enact patent-litigation reform in the U.S. House …

Two tables show how complicated music-copyright rate-setting is

Even after you’ve learned the basics of U.S. copyright law, once you delve into music copyrights, you discover an even more complex—I like to say "fractally complex"—framework at …

Pandora’s radio station purchase just latest twist in labyrinth of music rights

Anyone who follows the ongoing disagreements between Pandora and the publishers rights organizations (PROs, including the two giants, the American Society of Composers and Broadcast Music Inc.) is …

Sanders talks TPP on Thom Hartmann Show

R Street Outreach Director Lori Sanders appeared on the July 1, 2015 edition of the Thom Hartmann Show to discuss the role of intellectual property in the pending …

Federal district strikes down crowdfunding patent

Earlier this week, my friend Trace, who is writing a book to inspire children with disabilities, reached his $5,000 goal on Kickstarter.com. Like Trace, who was born without …

Heritage on how conservatives should approach patent reform

The following post was co-authored by Zach Graves. Patent reform bills have cleared markup this session in both the Senate Judiciary Committee (S.1137, the PATENT Act) and the House Judiciary …

Supreme Court missed opportunity to clarify copyright law in API case

WASHINGTON (June 29, 2015) – The U.S. Supreme Court's decision earlier today not to hear arguments in Google Inc. v. Oracle America Inc. represents a missed opportunity to …

Don’t cast CloudFlare as copyright/trademark enforcer

You may be used to thinking of the Internet as being built of:  Services that directly connect you to the Internet; Services that offer their own content to the Internet; …

Supreme Court takes on raisins, Spider-Man and hotels, but not marriage and Obamacare…yet

There's only one more SCOTUS "Decision Day" left in June, and it's going to be a big one. On their second-to-last day before skipping town to enjoy their …

Committee-passed Innovation Act includes significant litigation reforms

Now that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has successfully shepherded the Innovation Act through his committee, I'm heartened to note the significant major reforms that made …

New paper: economic liberty requires patent reform

R Street Associate Fellow Derek Khanna has an excellent new paper on the economic case for patent reform. Writing for the free-market technology group Lincoln Labs, he argues not …

USTR doesn’t need an IP czar

In a Congress that is likely this year to pass Trade Promotion Authority legislation, aimed at making trade agreements easier, you may ask why pro-free-trade legislators also proposing …

Busting the myth that patent reform is a left-wing idea

In a relatively short period of time, the debate over patent reform has transformed an arcane, low-salience issue into one that sparks fierce controversy and national headlines. Listening …

No, the America Invents Act did not cost ‘the economy’ $1 trillion

Congress will once again take up significant patent reform this week, with the PATENT Act – a version of which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday – …

Free-market groups support Senate patent-litigation reform legislation

We write on behalf of the undersigned free-market organizations to express our strong support for your committee’s efforts to advance patent-litigation reform and applaud your balanced and judicious …

Solicitor General drops the ball in Oracle v. Google copyright case

You probably already know it’s baseball season, but you may have missed some particularly interesting inside baseball going on in the world of copyright law and policy. The most …

General Motors says it’s just loaning you your car’s software

Imagine a world in which automakers declared that, even though you own most of the vehicle you purchased from your auto dealer, you don’t own the tires. No, …

Copyright lobby seeks new hammer to pound free speech in Florida

Anonymity and pseudonymity have been key threads in the fabric of American life since the Colonial era. From arts to politics, from the Revolutionary era-tracts known as Cato’s …

D.C. appeals court rules some iPhone trademarks invalid

A $930 million verdict against South Korean phone maker Samsung that claimed its Galaxy phone infringed patents held by Apple could be knocked down by as much as …

Ninth Circuit strikes down order that YouTube take down ‘Innocence of Muslims’

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned an order that YouTube take down the infamous video "Innocence of Muslims," rejecting an actress' claim that her brief …

Copyright, pharmaceutical enforcement shouldn’t be imposed on ICANN

Since 1998, U.S. policy has held that the Internet’s “IANA functions” — the technical functions collectively referred to as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, administered by ICANN.org — …

How the DMCA is turning ownership into ‘loanership’

The following piece was co-authored by R Street Innovation Policy Director Mike Godwin. During the Great Depression, farm-equipment giant John Deere Co. famously refused to repossess tractors it had …

R Street applauds introduction of bipartisan patent reform bill in the Senate

WASHINGTON (April 29, 2015) - The R Street Institute welcomed today’s introduction of the the PATENT Act, which seeks to address the problem of rampant patent litigation abuse, …

Letter to House Commerce Committee on the TROL Act

Dear Mr. Upton and Mr. Pallone, The undersigned organizations represent the small business, consumer and public interests in the area of patent policy. We write in regretful opposition to …

Patent coalition says TROL Act doesn’t go far enough

Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members: We, the co-chairs of United for Patent Reform, on behalf of the coalition members represented below, acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the Energy …

TPA: Trading up for a better deal

I have the National Football League draft, set to start April 30, on my mind this week. As fellow Philadelphia Eagles fans know, there is major speculation about whether …

R Street expresses concerns about TPA bills

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2015) – The R Street Institute expressed reservations today about H.R. 1890, better known as the "Trade Promotion Authority" bill, introduced April 17 by House …

PTO smacks down podcasting patent troll

Notorious patent troll Personal Audio LLC did not invent adding episodic content to a webpage, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled in an April 10 decision that's …

Diverse group of advocacy organizations, intellectual property experts come together in opposition to Florida digital goods bill

WASHINGTON – Today, a diverse group of advocacy organizations issued a joint public statement in opposition to the True Origin of Digital Goods Act being considered by the …

Parliament’s lone Pirate wants copyright restrictions to walk the plank

Geo-blocking is more than just an annoyance. Which is why Julia Reda, the sole member of the Pirate Party serving as a member in the European Parliament, is …

Lofgren and Issa take on patent law that inflates repair costs

In this era of hyper-partisanship, it's notable that a bipartisan pair of California members of Congress, Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Zoe Lofgren, are together proposing reforms to …

United for Patent Reform coalition letter on the STRONG Act

The undersigned members of United for Patent Reform (UPR) have formed a broad coalition of diverse American businesses to pursue comprehensive solutions to abusive patent litigation. We write …

Free-market groups support House patent reform legislation

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. United States House Judiciary Committee Washington, DC 20515 Dear Committee Members, On behalf of the undersigned free-market organizations, we write to express our strong …

‘Blurred Lines’ decision offers blurry conception of copyright

A federal jury seated in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has handed down a $7.4 million verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, asserting the pair's 2013 …

Letter from 33 groups on copyright reform

The attached letter from 33 advocacy groups urges Congress to take simple targeted steps to curb copyright infringement and frivolous lawsuits, but to avoid regulatory overreach that would …

Mother Teresa, Tiger Woods and the use of IP as censorship

Trumbull, Conn. is a town of 36,000 in suburban Fairfield County, perhaps best known for winning the 1989 Little League World Series and for being the hometown of …

Fair Use: Getting by with a little help from our friends

Is it legal for me to publish a blog post with this title? Am I violating copyright law? I am, after all, reusing lyrics from the chorus of …

R Street joins Public Knowledge, others, in urging Supreme Court to apply appropriate liability standards in key patent-infringement case

WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2015) – The Supreme Court should interpret patent law to limit needless infringement-inducement cases against technology companies, products, and services, the R Street Institute said …

R Street applauds introduction of YODA

WASHINGTON (Feb. 11, 2015) - The R Street Institute is encouraged by today's introduction of the You Own Devices Act, or  "YODA," sponsored by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. The bill …

Internet ain’t broke, don’t let AG try to fix it

For all that we complain about the Internet from time to time, the fact is, for the most part, we love the Internet. Yet not all of us …

Debbie and Sheila’s night out at the Grammys

I'll be rounding up the highlights from last night's Grammy Awards a bit later, but suffice it to say, if you didn't watch it, you missed very little. …

R Street welcomes bill to crack down on patent trolls

WASHINGTON (Feb. 5, 2015) – The R Street Institute welcomed today’s re-introduction by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., of the Innovation Act, which will address the problem …

Tools for transparency in copyright law

Over the span of one week in October 2014, Google received requests to remove more than 11 million URLs from its search engine due to copyright-infringement claims. Enshrined in …

Louisiana’s largest parish could legalize ride-sharing

Jefferson Parish – a New Orleans suburb and Louisiana’s most populous parish -- is considering an ordinance by Parish Councilmembers Cynthia Lee-Sheng and Ben Zahn that would legalize …

It’s Copyright Week! Let’s talk about copyright cronyism

Every year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a host of other organizations -- including think tanks, trade groups and public interest advocates -- align their efforts for one …

What D.C.’s food scene can teach us about copyright law

As Congress prepares for another battle over copyright law, D.C. policy wonks seeking guidance need look no further than the way the local restaurant scene has developed. Though …

Letter to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood on SOPA

December 22, 2014 Jim Hood Mississippi Attorney General Walter Sillers Building 550 High Street, Suite 1200 Jackson, MS 39201 Dear Attorney General Hood: According to recent news reports, your office, in active coordination with the …

Play EFF’s fantastic copyright crossword

This holiday season, our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have put together this fantastic crossword puzzle (also available in electronic and printable formats), comprised of clues relating …

Sony hack reveals celebrity gossip, plot to undermine free and open Internet

Hollywood media have feasted this month on  thousands of emails and internal documents leaked as part of a massive breach of Sony Pictures by the hacker group “Guardians …

Lawsuits against premium booze makers may have major impact on spirits labeling

So-called "premium" spirits, which are made in smaller batches and are traditionally more expensive than ordinary mass-produced spirits, are helping to fuel growth in alcohol sales in the …

Patents as weapons of self defense

The Center for Economic and Policy Research's Dean Baker notices something strange in the New York Times' profile of four-year-old Chinese cell phone manufacturer Xiaomi, an emerging player …

Revealed: Little-known Mississippi attorney general go-to man for Hollywood

It’s easy to see how Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood—a Bible-reading, pro-gun, pro-life Democrat—has survived in statewide office even as his already conservative state has turned a deeper …

Gone Google: Europe is pushing to limit Internet companies

Europe's battle against large Internet companies (or should we just say Google?) wages on. Spain just introduced a new intellectual property law that will require Spanish news publications …

U.S. government wants to keep you out of comfortable boxers

As I am a woman, I cannot effectively comment on the pros and cons of various forms of men's underwear and their comparative comfort levels. I understand that …

Should music publishers be an antitrust concern?

On Aug. 6, a letter arrived at the U.S. Department of Justice from someone writing anonymously under the name John Doe. Mr. Doe was seeking to persuade the …

Should we have to declare our emails at customs? The ITC says yes

"Threats to the open Internet come from all sides....Today’s threat comes from a patent and international trade agency." - Charles Duan, Public Knowledge The post-Snowden era of digital communication has …

ITC: The new digital cop?

Do you know where your e-mail account is located? No, "the Internet" is not a valid answer. More specifically, do you know on which of Google's many servers …

How SOPA would have cost the content industry billions

Ever since the advent of Internet-based, user generated mass media, Hollywood has been fighting a losing game of whack-a-mole against ordinary online users who share copyright-protected material in …

Search engines, free advertising and the content industry

In 1925, a music industry professional complained to the New York Times that the new medium of radio was destroying the industry's business model by making songs too …

Cornyn smokes patent trolls out from their bridge

Most children who’ve heard the tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff know that if an ugly, parasitic troll comes out to get you, the best thing to …

Is all-or-nothing better than nothing at all?

The loudest criticism of the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnerships negotiations between the United States and the European Union is that they are conducted behind closed doors. …

Transformation, tests and t-shirts

Intellectual property laws sometimes pit different camps of creators against each other. On the one hand, makers want the freedom to pull inspiration from works that have already …

Pornographers choke in ‘Deep Throat’ case

While Hollywood is often known as one of the groups most fiercely committed to protecting copyrighted works, a recent case shows that even in Tinseltown, the veto power …

Despite Senate inaction, progress on patent trolls

In May, Senate Democrats -- led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. – tabled the patent reform bill on which his panel had worked for months. The …

YODA takes on the dark side of copyright enforcement

Imagine the following scenario: You buy a computer secondhand off eBay at a bargain price that would put most computer stores out of business. You then boot up …

Nicki Minaj and the rule of law

Conservatives have long stood for the principle that the state ought to abide by the rule of law. Application of the law ought to be uniform across all …

Delaware becomes first state to include digital accounts in estate law

Say you have an iTunes library that’s the envy of the most obsessive music collectors. Or a Facebook account with thousands of friends who obsessively share and “like” …

Sherlock Holmes and the case of the broken copyright law

Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes is fond of saying that one must never alter facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. Given …

Conservatives debate IP: A right or a privilege?

Can copyrights and other intellectual property be treated the same as physical property rights, and just how far should that analogy be taken? Those were among the key issues …

Patents? Where we’re going, we don’t need patents

A little more than a week ago, if you were to walk through the lobby of Tesla Motors – not that I ever have, but if one were …

Despite setback in Senate, there’s no reason to give up on patent reform

The last few weeks have brought both good and bad news to supporters of patent reform looking to reduce system abuse. Hopes for legislative action were dashed when a …

Four other ethnic groups who could challenge pro team trademarks

Today's decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to vacate six of the Washington Redskins' trademarks on grounds that they are "disparaging …

Paper puts cost of patent trolling at $22B

A new research paper has calculated that frequent lawsuits by patent assertion entities—or patent trolls as they are known pejoratively—has scared off some $22 billion in venture capital …

Pioneering innovative new approaches to rectangles

Microsoft, one of the largest corporate holders of patents in the United States, received another major bundle of approvals this week from the USPTO. In addition to some …

Court rules no legal fees in ‘pocket bra’ patent troll case

Back in 2012, Kyle Bartlow and Mariah Gentry were juniors at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, looking to live out the American dream of entrepreneurship. …

That’s how the cupcake patent crumbles

Perhaps the surest sign that the decade-long cupcake fad is really and truly over is that even cupcake-related lawsuits are wrapping up tidily. Most recently, news has come down …

Upcoming Google hangout on copyright reform

We'll be hosting a Google Hangout with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Competitive Enterprise Institute to discuss copyright reform on Thursday, …

Forget everything you know about six-pack organizers

Picture a six-pack of bottles or cans. Now, imagine you want to transport or organize those bottles and/or cans. How are you going to do it? Perhaps you might …

Letter to Chairman Leahy: Don’t kill prospects for real patent reform

May 22, 2014 The Hon. Patrick Leahy Chairman Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Chairman Leahy: On behalf of the R Street Institute, we urge you to reconsider your recent …

Patent reform will benefit Utah business

Utah's technology-dependent economy makes current efforts in Washington to reform patent policies all the more important to the state's future, and our elected leaders are among the most …

Listen to Madison on copyright

More than 200 years ago, James Madison warned us that copyright and patents, being "monopolies," "must be guarded with strictness aga[inst] abuse." Today that abuse is manifest: copyright …

Wait, did Amazon just patent photography?

Watch out Glamour Shots, Amazon may be setting its sights on you. That's because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the most unlikely of all companies, Amazon, …

Unconstitutionally long copyright terms stifle content creation, just ask Disney

The R Street Institute recently released a report on copyright duration titled: "Guarding Against Abuse -- Restoring Constitutional Copyright." The report examines how copyright terms today are completely …

The conservative case for taking on the copyright lobby

Today, the R Street Institute released a report on copyright duration titled "Guarding against abuse: Restoring constitutional copyright." In recent decades, a number of special interests called the "copyright …

Letter to Judiciary Committee on patent reform

April 29, 2014 The Hon. Patrick Leahy Chairman Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 The Hon. Chuck Grassley Ranking Member Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking …

R Street paper calls for shortened copyright terms and examination of international treaties

WASHINGTON (April 30, 2014) -- U.S. copyright term lengths must be shortened and lawmakers should heed warnings handed down by the founders about the dangers of copyright as …

Letter to USPTO on crowdsourcing design patents

April 24, 2014 Nicole Dretar Haines Senior Legal Advisor Office of Patent Legal Administration U.S. Patent and Trademark Office P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450 Re: Docket No. PTO-P-2014-0013 The R Street Institute – a non-profit, …

USPTO strikes down sippy cup design patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has, for the first time, invalidated a design patent under a post-grant review process created by the America Invents Act. The patent in …

The Supreme Court case that will decide the future of television

In the past decade, home-media consumption of television content has changed significantly. Millions of people, particularly among younger generations, are becoming cord-cutters and converting to Netflix or Hulu. …

Pritzker’s pro-patent reform push should include designs

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker believes reforms are needed to rein in costly litigation in the U.S. patent system, adding in recent public remarks that "the president gets it," …

Free-market groups support Senate patent reform efforts

The Honorable Patrick Leahy The Honorable Charles Grassley United States Senate Judiciary Committee Washington, D.C. 20510 Dear Committee Members, On behalf of the undersigned free-market organizations, we write to express our …

Virginia takes lead in patent reform

As awareness builds about the cost in dollars and innovation that patent trolling extracts from the economy, Virginia has been among the states that have responded with legislation …

Patent reform efforts shouldn’t overlook patent quality

With the Senate Judiciary Committee set to take up legislation in the next several days that looks to combat so-called "patent trolls," it's imperative that lawmakers address the real underlying …

Congress must put a clamp on the ‘patent trolls’

The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to vote on a bill soon aimed at addressing patent demand letters from entities frequently referred to as "patent trolls." Clearly, the momentum …

Congress shouldn’t overlook design patents in its push for reform

With legislation passed in the House, the U.S. Senate is set to move forward on multiple bills to combat the costly problem of patent trolls. While current proposals …

Support the Innovation Act!

Dear Representatives, On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write in strong support of Rep. Bob Goodlatte's H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act, which seeks to strengthen the patent system …

Letter to U.S. House supporting the Innovation Act

December 3, 2013 The Honorable John Boehner Speaker United States House of Representatives The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Minority Leader United States House of Representatives Dear Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi: The broad-ranging group of undersigned …

New proposal to slay patent trolls would be a boon to the digital economy

Following a slew of other bills introduced earlier this year to address America's broken patent system, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., recently released a second draft of a proposal to extend …

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