Five US Senators take stand against trolls
The fifth signatory to the letter is that of Mark R. Warner, the senior senator from Virginia.
The very popular Warner is up for re-election this year. A recent Washington Post story begins
Turkey hunting, NASCAR and a bluegrass campaign ditty: not the most obvious path to the governor’s mansion for a multimillionaire raised in Connecticut. Yet it worked for Mark R. Warner, running in Virginia in 2001, and still looks like a stroke of genius to many an admiring Democrat.
Mark Warner made money in telecommunications. Wikipedia notes that Warner -- used his knowledge of federal telecommunication law and policies as a broker of mobile phone franchise licenses, making a significant fortune. As founder and managing director of Columbia Capital, a venture capital firm, he helped found or was an early investor in a number of technology companies. He was one of the early investors in Nextel, co-founded Capital Cellular Corporation, and built up an estimated net worth of more than $200 million. He is the wealthiest US senator with a rising average net worth.--
As to patents to Columbia Capital note United States Patent no. 8,041,631, issued on Oct. 18, 2011 assigned to Columbia Capital Management LLC (Overland Park, Kan.) with first claim
A computer-implemented secure-bidding process comprising: providing a broker user interface on a computer system that elicits and receives information from one or more brokers to setup a plurality of bid processes including a first bid process, administers a database of bidders on the computer system, and performs one or more reporting functions; defining, in the computer system, an expiration time for a bid period of the first bid process; electronically receiving into the computer system a plurality of bids submitted by a plurality of bidders for the first bid process only at times before the expiration time for the first bid process; encrypting, in the computer system, the plurality of bids for the first bid process upon receipt or earlier to form a plurality of encrypted bids; automatically generating and logging at least one digital checksum, in the computer system, for each of the plurality of bids received for the first bid process; securely storing on the computer system the plurality of encrypted bids in a secure electronic vault, wherein the vault includes a directory in which specific information, including encrypted bids and digital checksums, about each one of the plurality of bid processes is automatically retained, and wherein the specific information for the first bid process is retained in an inaccessible state until the expiration time of the first bid process; decrypting using the computer system and delivering to one or more transaction participants bid information for the first bid process from the vault only following the expiration time of the first bid process; receiving into the computer system a bid summary report based on the decrypted bid information and a decision from the one or more brokers to award the first bid; delivering the bid summary report to the plurality of bidders for the first bid process; and using the computer system, automatically creating an electronic archive of information relating to the plurality of bid processes, including the encrypted bids and the bid summary report, for the first bid process, wherein the electronic archive of information includes the digital checksum information.
As to Sprint, note the article Sprint Nextel's innovation push yields almost a patent a day
Sprint Nextel had sued Vonage. Link: http://www.cnet.com/news/vonage-settles-patent-case-with-sprint/