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Patents

USPTO Head: Current Patent Litigation Is 'Reasonable' 153

elashish14 writes "David Kappos, head of the USPTO, today provided a strong defense of the patent system, particularly in the mobile industry. In his address, he implored critics, 'Give the [America Invents Act] a chance to work.' He then went on to proclaim the 'absolutely breakneck pace' of innovation in the smartphone industry and that the U.S. patent system is 'the envy of the world,' though he was likely only referring to the envy of the world's lawyers. Perhaps the most laughable quote from his address: 'The explosion of litigation we are seeing is a reflection of how the patent system wires us for innovation.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: Forget the iPad, Surface Is the Tablet People Want 403

zacharye writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer undoubtedly knows that Apple has sold more than 100 million iPad tablets at this point, but according to the outspoken executive, that's not the tablet people really want. While speaking with CNBC, Ballmer said no company has built a tablet he believes customers want. 'You can go through the products from all those guys and none of them has a product that you can really use. Not Apple. Not Google. Not Amazon. Nobody has a product that lets you work and play that can be your tablet and your PC. Not at any price point,' he says."
Advertising

Fox Sues Dish Over "Auto Hop" Ad-Skipping Feature 578

therealobsideus writes "Dish recently announced Auto Hop, giving its customers with the Hopper DVR the ability to 'hop' past commercial break on recordings. In response, Fox has filed suit against Dish in U.S. District Court, seeking to block the technology." The L.A. Times has coverage, too. Fox claims that giving viewers the ability to skip commercials on recorded television shows demonstrates the "clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem."
America Online

When AIM Was Our Facebook 395

Hugh Pickens writes "Gizmodo reports that there was a stretch of time in the 90s and early 00s when AOL was a social requisite. 'Everyone had an AIM handle,' write Adrian Covert and Sam Biddle. 'You didn't have to worry about who used what. Saying "what's your screenname" was tantamount to asking for someone's number — everyone owned it, everyone used it, it was simple, and it worked.' When we all finally got broadband, it was always on and your friends were always right there on your buddy list, around the clock. AIM was the first time that it felt like we had presences online, making it normal, for the first time ever, to make public what you were doing. 'Growing up with AIM, it became more than just a program we used. It turned into a culture all its own—long before we realized we'd been living it.'"

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