June 4th, 2013 | Morgan Reed
ACT supports efforts to address the impact of patent trolls on small business software companies. However, today’s White House announcement appears to range far beyond the problem of trolls, impacting many tech interests including small businesses that rely on an effective patent system.
The patent system is critical to the mobile economy. It exists to protect innovation and should not be abused by patent trolls to prey upon startups and small businesses. Trolls target small companies by the thousands with speculative lawsuits, seldom reviewing the software claimed to infringe. Under the threat of lengthy litigation and expensive legal fees, many small companies are coerced into costly settlements. Measures that address this abusive activity would benefit the entire ecosystem.
We have concerns, however, about the broad scope of the White House proposal and its potential impact on small business innovators. The administration’s efforts to expand the number of challengers before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board could disadvantage software innovation and limit the means of small businesses to protect their inventions. Reforming the patent system is important, but we cannot do so at the expense of software patents which protect small businesses and the innovations they produce.
May 22nd, 2013 | Jonathan Godfrey
We had a very effective two days of Fly In meetings and briefings with the White House, Congress, and FTC. And according to the New York Times, ACT lobby efforts in the Senate helped push tech amendments to the immigration bill over the finish line.
“The agreement represents a win for the high-tech industry, and comes on the heels of intense lobbying by the industry. The Association for Competitive Technology, a trade group, sent 50 executives and application developers to Washington on Monday and Tuesday to meet with lawmakers, including members of the Judiciary Committee.”
New York Times
Immigration Overhaul Wins Panel’s Backing in the Senate
May 18th, 2013 | Jonathan Godfrey
On Tuesday, fifty tech CEOs and app makers from across the country travel to Washington to meet with officials in the White House, Congress, and the FTC to advocate for Immigration, STEM, and privacy issues. They will be taking part in the Association for Competitive Technology’s (ACT) Washington Fly-In, an annual event for tech companies to promote policies that allow small business technology companies to innovate and grow.
ACT members are coming to Washington to ensure lawmakers and regulators hear the voices of small business tech companies. The pace of innovation is remarkable, but that could change suddenly with overreaching legislation or regulation. Our members will meet with their elected representatives to tell the story of their companies’ success and what they need (and don’t need) to continue to grow and create jobs.
Specifically, ACT members will advocate for solutions that:
- Implement a program to provide students with the computer science education that will help them qualify for rewarding careers in the tech industry. This will foster growth in our U.S. software development workforce where chronic labor shortages persist;
- Fund STEM education initiatives through increased fees from H-1B visas and green cards. This addresses the short-term urgency to find high skilled workers while laying the groundwork to grow the U.S. high skilled technology workforce;
- Allow internet companies to implement new solutions for data transparency; Congress should resist the urge to apply broad regulatory restrictions that would deny consumers many of the products and services they rely on every day;
- Allow small software companies to protect their intellectual property without having to fight patent trolls and speculative lawsuits; and
- Ensure that the government does not impede efforts to strengthen and expand our internet infrastructure so consumers can benefit from more reliable mobile and fixed data connectivity.
These are issues the federal government is facing. ACT members are looking forward to meeting with their elected officials and others in Washington to educate them about the technology industry so they can make the right decisions about our future. Hopefully, an informed Congress will allow small tech companies to continue to flourish.