The Internet domain name space continues to expand, with over 100 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) added to the Internet's root zone, and more to come in each following week. Overall, the new gTLD expansion will result in an increase in top-level domains from a mere 22 to a total of 1400 over the next few years. The expansion creates unique opportunities but also raises new enforcement challenges for brand owners.
The Federal Communications Commission was dealt a major blow today when a portion of its net neutrality rules were struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The rules are part of the FCC Open Internet Order adopted in 2010 aimed towards protecting consumers, which forbid Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking services or otherwise denying content providers equal access to the network.
In the days before its initial public offering, Twitter expressed a number of intellectual property woes in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commision.
The New York Attorney General's office recently levied $350,000 in penalties against 19 companies for astroturfing and false endorsements. Dubbed "Operation Clean Turf," the year long investigation into the reputation management industry found that companies had flooded the Internet with fake consumer reviews on websites including Yelp, Google, and CitySearch. Throughout the investigation, the Attorney General's office found that many companies, including those in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry, used techniques to hide their identities, such as creating fake profiles on review websites and paying copywriters from around the world for $1 to $10 per review.
California is preparing to adopt several additional privacy and data breach notification laws this month. These include S.B. 46, a notification requirement for breaches of an individual's user name or email address; SB 568, which extends the federal COPPA rules to all children under 18 years of age; and A.B. 370, a do-not-track disclosure law requiring disclosure about behavioral tracking. These laws affect not only companies based in the state, but all companies that do business within the state.
Does the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have the authority to enforce rules designed to keep the Internet as an open and neutral platform? The question regarding network neutrality is in front of a federal appeals court today in Verizon v. FCC. The outcome of this case could have profound implications in how Internet service providers (ISPs) are able to operate in the future, which will inevitably affect anyone who uses the Internet, from consumers to startups and tech giants who have built billion dollar businesses online.
This past Monday, November 26, 2012 marked "Cyber Monday," a recently established tradition identified with the Monday following the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, where consumers tend to escalate their online holiday shopping activities.
On June 13, 2012, in what was referred to as “Reveal Day” for the new generic Top-Level Domain program, ICANN posted the names of the 1,930 proposed gTLDs together with applicant information for applications received in the first application window.
Facebook’s historic initial public offering (“IPO”) on Friday was preceded by a patent portfolio “shopping spree” illustrative of the importance of intellectual property’s role in the U.S. economy. According to news reports in the months leading up to its IPO, it appears that Facebook acquired well over 1,000 patents and patent applications outright, as well as licenses to many more patents, including large groups of such patents formerly owned by IBM [article] and AOL [article], among others. Regardless of the strategy implications as to whether the acquisitions were primarily for defensive purposes, offensive purposes, or a relatively equal balance of each, the sheer magnitude of Facebook’s patent purchasing activity was exemplary of the dominant impact that intellectual property-intensive industries are having on the U.S. economy.