What​ ​Does​ ​the​ ​End​ ​of​ ​Net​ ​Neutrality​ ​Mean​ ​for​ ​Patent​ ​Law?

In​ ​a​ ​vote​ ​across​ ​party​ ​lines,​ ​the​ ​FCC​ ​recently​ ​voted​ ​to​ ​roll​ ​back​ ​net​ ​neutrality​ ​Obama Era​ ​protections.​ ​​ ​Some​ ​activist​ ​groups​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Mozilla​ ​claim​ ​this​ ​move,​ ​will​ ​end​ ​the internet​ ​as​ ​we​ ​know​ ​it,​ ​harming​ ​every​ ​day​ ​users​ ​and​ ​small​ ​businesses,​ ​eroding​ ​free speech,​ ​competition,​ ​innovation​ ​and​ ​user​ ​choice​ ​in​ ​the​ ​process.​ ​​ ​That​ ​is​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the impact​ ​this​ ​decision​ ​may​ ​have​ ​on​ ​patent​ ​law,​ ​making​ ​it​ ​easier​ ​for​ ​start-ups​ ​and​ ​smaller companies​ ​to​ ​have​ ​their​ ​web​ ​content​ ​filtered​ ​out​ ​by​ ​their​ ​competitors. A specific situation requires a consultation with a patent lawyer Chicago IL trusts.

Several​ ​states,​ ​including​ ​the​ ​Attorney​ ​General​ ​of​ ​New​ ​York​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​file​ ​lawsuits​ ​to​ ​object to​ ​this​ ​move.​ ​Before​ ​the​ ​vote​ ​there​ ​were​ ​several​ ​large​ ​scale​ ​in​ ​person​ ​and​ ​online protests,​ ​including​ ​a​ ​“Break​ ​the​ ​Internet”​ ​blackout​ ​organized​ ​by​ ​several​ ​large​ ​Net companies​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Etsy​ ​and​ ​Mozilla.

Chairman​ ​Pai​ ​of​ ​the​ ​FCC​ ​defended​ ​the​ ​vote​ ​explaining​ ​that​ ​the​ ​move​ ​can​ ​allow​ ​medical and​ ​safety​ ​net​ ​access​ ​such​ ​as​ ​remote​ ​surgical​ ​operations​ ​&​ ​self-driving​ ​cars​ ​to​ ​have priority​ ​over​ ​novelty​ ​entertainment​ ​uploads.

Critics​ ​of​ ​the​ ​FCC​ ​vote​ ​noted,​ ​“Companies​ ​that​ ​pushed​ ​for​ ​an​ ​end​ ​to​ ​Net​ ​Neutrality​ ​have the​ ​technical​ ​ability​ ​and​ ​business​ ​incentive​ ​to​ ​discriminate​ ​and​ ​manipulate​ ​your​ ​internet traffic.​ ​​ ​Now​ ​the​ ​FCC​ ​as​ ​an​ ​agency​ ​gives​ ​them​ ​the​ ​legal​ ​green​ ​light​ ​to​ ​go​ ​ahead.”

Several​ ​state​ ​attorneys​ ​general​ ​said​ ​before​ ​the​ ​vote​ ​they​ ​would​ ​oppose​ ​the​ ​ruling,​ ​citing issues​ ​with​ ​the​ ​public​ ​comment​ ​period.​ ​Other​ ​critics​ ​have​ ​said​ ​they​ ​will​ ​consider challenging​ ​what​ ​they​ ​see​ ​as​ ​weaker​ ​enforcement​ ​as​ ​this​ ​ruling​ ​has​ ​direct​ ​and​ ​indirect consequences​ ​to​ ​technology​ ​and​ ​innovation​ ​incentives.​ ​​ ​Some​ ​patent​ ​attorneys​ ​felt​ ​this decision,​ ​which​ ​favors​ ​large​ ​companies​ ​such​ ​as​ ​ATT,​ ​Comcast,​ ​etc.​ ​could​ ​over​ ​the​ ​long run​ ​provide​ ​more​ ​financial​ ​incentives​ ​to​ ​create​ ​new​ ​and​ ​innovative​ ​digital​ ​content.​ ​​ ​Time will​ ​tell​ ​how​ ​the​ ​controversial​ ​ruling​ ​plays​ ​out.


Thanks to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian and their insights.