Patent Trolls Drain Businesses

January 22, 2014
From tiny app developers to major retailers, the response is often the same: You’re kidding me.   That was the reaction of both Lee Cheng and Todd Moore when they got letters saying their companies were violating patents. Moore makes smartphone applications as founder of the three-person TMSoft LLC. His alleged violation was having a hyperlink connecting one Web page to another. Cheng, the chief legal officer and senior vice present for Newegg Inc., found his company sued for using an online shopping cart. “It’s an obvious concept from the brick-and-mortar world. Who hasn’t used...

Moving the Innovation Agenda in 2014

January 15, 2014
The year 2014 promises to be full of obstacles and opportunities for the technology industry. Crucial victories are within our grasp, if the political climate is positive and we are able to push the ball over the goal line. First, Congress is poised to move on legislation that would address the epidemic in litigation by so-called “patent trolls”—companies that do not produce any products or services, but litigate against those who do. This issue drew Congress’ attention after extortionate patent lawsuits spread beyond the tech industry to impact virtually all sectors of the U.S. economy. As a result, the...

Uber – Driving Elegant Disruption

January 05, 2014
If you’re reading this column, there’s a good chance you’re either in Las Vegas for, or just returned from, the 2014 International CES. While there, you’re likely to visit some of the city’s resorts, restaurants, casinos and nightclubs. But one thing you won’t be able to do is pull out your smartphone and get a safe, stylish ride on demand from Uber. You will be able to stand in a 30-minute queue to get a taxi.   Why? Because in Las Vegas, one of the world’s premier tourist destinations, the sedan services that Uber traditionally partners with are subject to a one-hour minimum per ride regardless of the actual time or distance traveled...

The Greening of CES

January 05, 2014
The International CES is where the newest innovations are revealed and where the technology industry comes together. While accomplishing those objectives, CES also accomplishes another goal: being green.   CEA continues to ramp up its green initiatives at CES to ensure we’re recycling more and wasting less. As a guest of the city of Las Vegas, CEA wants to be respectful and give back to the local community.   CES provides the technology industry with an opportunity to convene at one time, in one place, at an eco-friendly blockbuster that minimizes annual travel. CES attendees connect with one another, get business done and collectively avoid more than 1.97 million...

Restoring a Level Playing Field

December 26, 2013
New gaming consoles. Televisions with remarkable picture quality. Computing, tablet and smartphone categories filled with a wide array of quality products. Those are just a few of the latest and greatest products that we have available online and in our Best Buy stores as we enter this holiday season. They also are examples of how innovation and competition have advanced in the consumer electronics (CE) market. Innovation has driven growth and created consumer products, categories and experiences that few could have dreamed of just a decade ago. Year after year, products move out of labs and into the market, improving performance and addressing new challenges. The features change and...

Women Leading Tech Policy

December 11, 2013
Mara Lewis Title: CEO and Founder, Stopped.at Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts Current Location: San Francisco, California Education: University of Colorado, Boulder Top Accomplishment: Launching Upstart, one of the first startup accelerators in the country for female technology founders. Being able to fund, mentor and empower other women-led startups has always been a dream of mine, and this past summer, I teamed up with Start Co. (a venture development organization based in Memphis, Tenn.) to launch our inaugural cohort. We plan to double the number of participating teams next year. ...

The Faces of Innovation: Carlos Hernandez

November 26, 2013
In an interview with Carlos Hernandez, founder and CEO of SenseData/autopro™, we talk about his inspiration to create an app, running a startup and what the government can do to encourage new businesses. Carlos is also a member of the Washington, D.C.-based startup community 1776. Explain the concept of autopro? What inspired you to create the app? The concept of autopro is to give consumers real-time health information about their cars’ current health condition from the computers onboard the car. Since 2009, I have worked with my father Jose Luis Hernandez, an immigrant from Mexico who started his second company...

Talking Tech Policy with Darrell Issa

November 15, 2013
Darrell Issa was finishing his second term as CEA chairman when he was elected Nov. 8, 2000, to the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 48th congressional district in California, winning 61 percent of the vote. The district was renumbered as the 49th after the 2000 census. It was the first time that a sitting chairman of a major trade association was elected to Congress. Darrell Issa Born: Nov. 1, 1953 Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio Political party: Republican Residence: Vista, Calif. Education: Kent State University Stark, Siena Heights College, B.A. 1976 Military: U.S. Army Captain Service: 1970–1972/1976&ndash...

The Faces of Innovation: Jeff Puchalski

November 06, 2013
Jeff Puchalski is founder and CEO of Modisco, a location-aware mobile service that allows people to discover and connect with others nearby who have similar interests. He discusses startups and energy monitoring. Explain the concept of Modisco. The original idea that led to Modisco was to use technology as a bridge to link the virtual and real worlds. Over the years, I noticed the increasing frequency with which people interacted with their devices—laptops, phones and tablets—rather than their surroundings. I began thinking of ways to leverage those tendencies to provide a useful service. One idea was to use ...
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