https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/05/how-the-next-patent-office-director-could-shape-the-patent-system/

According to Timothy B. Lee, who writes for ARS Technica, President Biden is expected to announce a new Patent chief — a director for the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). What might normally be a “ho-hum” appointment could actually have long-lasting impact on big tech, the future of patents, innovation, investment and the legal process that ties this all together.

According to Lee’s description, three names have been mulled about to take the position: Elissen Turner, Jannie Lau and Colleen Chien.

If Obama’s tenure bode poorly for patent owners and made life easier for defendants in patent infringement suits…


This Tuesday (April 27), a former Google employee turned critic of “Big Tech”, Tristan Harris, told a Senate committee that the business model of the largest social media companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and others, is “to create a society that is addicted, outraged polarized”. Holy Crap!

Big tech watchers and critics have long said this was the societal outcome of big tech’s business model. But to say this is what big tech wants from society, and from a former Google employee no less, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee!! Turned a few heads.

Harris, who is the co-founder…


My favorite part about writing this column, is when I discover something that really changes my perspective, my thinking, or my approach to a given topic.

I write mostly about the challenges (and opportunities) to society and government provided by Big Tech. We have all watched over the past few years as more and more Tech Giants surpasses the Trillion dollar mark (that’s right) and have become as powerful, or more powerful in many ways, than nation-states. …


A recent story in MotherJones exposes what seems like it should be a much bigger story than its being made out to be. Google, Amazon, Facebook and other big tech firms are pumping a lot of money into Congress to influence the course of regulation as it relates to them through a new lobbying firm.

Reportedly, this new firm, dubbed the Chamber of Progress has been established to push big tech interests in Washington and court centrist Democrats. …


Bro culture, back-slapping, going out for drinks and talking about that hot secretary on the third floor and telling dirty jokes. We’ve all seen it. We’ve all been there. If you’re a man, no doubt you’ve actively or passively partaken in this culture. If you’re a woman, no doubt you’ve been made to feel uncomfortable by this office environment.

In recent years, women have made much progress — higher rates of university education, and higher rates of high paying tech jobs. However, I think its safe to say, much work lies ahead. …


The Supreme Court recently heard arguments that involved the validity of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which, as Bloomberg explains, has been described as the patent “death squad”. In fact, PTAB is responsible for killing some 2,000 patents since its founding in 2012. The conservative justices on the court have been pondering whether PTABs existence is even legal, as it is a body authorized to make major decisions that is not accountable to any presidential appointee, unlike federal courts, for example. This is a big deal. A patent case can mean millions or even billions won or lost.


Earlier this week, Wikipedia, through its parent company the Wikipedia Foundation, announced a sea-change in its business-model — the nonprofit will start earning….some… profit.

Wikipedia announced the upcoming launch of Wikimedia Enterprise, which will work in tandem with Big Tech platforms like Google, Amazon, Apple and others, tailoring their product, services and accessibility to the database, for a cost.

This was first announced through an article by Noam Cohen in Wired.

https://www.wired.com/story/wikipedia-finally-asking-big-tech-to-pay-up/

As it stands, Google and others all make heavy use of Wikipedia on their search pages, through their virtual assistants and more. …


We tend to think of history, of human progress, as linear. We get better. We become more advanced. Companies get bigger, richer, more sophisticated. Things usually advance in one direction. Athletes get better. Empires conquer more territory. Until they don’t. Until they are stopped and pushed back. Well, this last year, and especially the last couple of months, might be showing us that the meteoric rise and takeover of Big Tech might finally start to be reined in.

Avery Hartmans at Business Insider wrote a great piece:

“Big Tech is under attack from every angle as governments, employees and consumers…


https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/media-code-is-thoughtful-brave-and-might-save-journalism/news-story/202ef43035904edb84ad7de4db3bcb5a

The past week saw some drama unfold “down under” when Facebook tried to flex its big tech muscles against the government of Australia.

Last year, for those not following, the Australian parliament set out to force big tech — in this case Facebook and Google — to pay news publishers for the content they share on their platforms. After all, they control the news cycle through their algorithms which is geared not to maintaining healthy democratic societies but rather…. you guessed it: maximizing profit.

I’ve been following this development and came across this op-ed by David Chavern, president and…


If you haven’t yet seen the latest Gallup survey, American public opinion is significantly turning on big tech. The latest survey compares American attitudes on big tech as well as to the level of government regulation. Frankly I’m not surprised and neither should you be. The sheer size, market dominance, influence on politics and society and protection from liability when hate speech occurs are worrying.

Overall, 45% of American adults said they have negative views of big tech, which Gallup defined as “technology companies, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google”. 34% had positive views while 20% remained neutral.

The number…

Casey Osbourne

Based in Denver, Casey covers tech, the tech industry, and society in the United States. Stories and inquiries at: osbournecasey@gmail.com

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