White House Responds to Phone Unlocking Petition

The White House’s online petition system is being used for more than suggesting that Texas secede. A recent ruling that effectively banned third-party phone unlocking is being challenged with 114,322 electronic signatures, and R. David Edelman, Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation and Privacy has responded on behalf of the White House to the positive.  He said, “The White House agrees…that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties,” and while change will likely not come immediately, the wheels are in motion with the FCC and Congress to deeply affect how previously closed cellular hardware systems may be used by Americans in the future.

Bill Proposes Crackdown on Patent Trolls

Litigation has become an ever-growing part of the innovation game, and Congress is preparing to crack down on patent trolls with a bipartisan bill proposing the Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes, or SHIELD, Act.  The bill proposes that trolls be forced to pay the legal costs if their patent lawsuits fail in court.  The bill already has some friends in high places, including President Obama and the new chair of the House Judiciary Committee.  If the SHIELD Act becomes law, the States could become a much more peaceful place for technological incubation, without fear of frivilous litigation.