“The FTC recognizes that infringement litigation plays an important role in protecting patent rights, and that a robust judicial system promotes respect for the patent laws. Nuisance infringement litigation, however, can tax judicial resources and divert attention away from productive business behavior,” the report states. With this balance in mind, the FTC proposes reforms to:
- Address the imbalances between the cost of litigation discovery for PAE plaintiffs and defendants;
- provide the courts and defendants with more information about the plaintiffs that have filed infringement lawsuits;
- streamline multiple cases brought against defendants on the same theories of infringement; and
- provide sufficient notice of these infringement theories as courts continue to develop heightened pleading requirements for patent cases.
Known as Silverpush, the software is designed to monitor consumers’ television use through the use of “audio beacons” emitted by TVs, which consumers can’t hear but can be detected by the software. The letters note that the software would be capable of producing a detailed log of the television content viewed while a user’s mobile device was turned on for the purpose of targeted advertising and analytics.
FTC staffers spent enormous time pouring through Google’s business practices and documents as well as interviewing executives and rivals. They came to the conclusion that Google was acting in anti-competitive ways, such as restricting advertisers’ from working with rival search engines. But commissioners balked at the prospect of a lengthy and protracted legal fight, former FTC officials said.
Staff examined hundreds of apps for children and looked at disclosures and links on each app’s promotion page in the app store, on the app developer’s website, and within the app. According to the report, “most apps failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data. Even more troubling, the results showed that many of the apps shared certain information with third parties – such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number – without disclosing that fact to parents. Further, a number of apps contained interactive features – such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media – without disclosing these features to parents prior to download.”