Controversial TV Streamer Aereo Announces Boston Launch

Streaming TV startup Aereo, which currently delivers over-the-air broadcast television to Internet-connected devices via its antenna/DVR technology in the New York City area, announced that it plans to launch in the Boston metropolitan area on May 15. Despite legal battles with broadcasters regarding copyright infringement, Aereo raised $38 million earlier this year from investors including Barry Diller as part of a plan to expand into 22 U.S. markets. Continue reading Controversial TV Streamer Aereo Announces Boston Launch

Patent Pledge by Google to Shield Software from Lawsuits

In an effort to shield cloud software and big data developers from certain types of litigation currently affecting the mobile phone industry, Google introduced a “patent pledge” last week. The pledge, which is similar to a non-aggression pact, involves 10 patents related to Google’s MapReduce technology. The company says developers are free to use or sell the technology without concern regarding future lawsuits. Continue reading Patent Pledge by Google to Shield Software from Lawsuits

Small Bookstores Sue Amazon, Seek Open E-Book Market

Independent bookstores have filed a lawsuit alleging agreements between Amazon and six large book publishers violate federal antitrust law. The small bookstores cite the proprietary coding software that only allows users to read e-books on a Kindle or the Kindle app. They are making an argument for open-source coding that would allow for a more open e-book publishing market. Continue reading Small Bookstores Sue Amazon, Seek Open E-Book Market

Report: Is Innovation being Stifled by Frivolous Lawsuits of Patent Trolls?

  • Looking at a database of over 1,600 patent troll lawsuits compiled by Patent Freedom, a team of Boston University researchers estimate that these suits have cost companies some $500 billion since 1990. These costs include not only legal fees and payouts to plaintiffs, but indirect costs such as employee distraction, legal uncertainty, and the need to redesign or drop key products.
  • The authors of the study also estimate that the original inventors received less than 10 percent of the “defendant’s lost wealth.”
  • Additionally, they found that software patents accounted for approximately 62 percent of the lawsuits (while a mere two percent of suits were related to drug or chemical patents, and only six percent involved mechanical patents).
  • The article concludes that the patent system is becoming a disincentive to innovation. “These results are important because the patent system is supposed to reward companies who invest in innovation,” suggests Ars Technica. “Yet thanks to the growing blizzard of frivolous patent lawsuits against technology companies, the patent system is actually becoming a net disincentive to innovation, especially software. We hope Congress and the Supreme Court are paying attention.”

Page 8 of 812345678