Friday, November 14, 2008

Lobbying: it's about business interests, stupid

Beginning with text that Micosoft's outlay of almost $2 million for the third quarter 2008 alone nearly equaled the amount its rival Google Inc. spent in the first nine months of the year, AP wrote

Microsoft and Google battled over Google's plans to sell some of the online advertisements that appear alongside search results on Yahoo Inc.'s Web site. Google and Yahoo entered into the partnership in June in an effort to keep Yahoo out of Microsoft's hands.

But Google walked away from the deal last week in the face of an antitrust challenge being prepared by the Justice Department. That retreat marked a key victory for Microsoft, which had mounted a major lobbying and public relations offensive to convince the government to block the agreement.


While Microsoft and Google were on opposite sides in the battle over the Yahoo partnership, they have found themselves aligned in other big lobbying fights. The two companies led a recent push to open up "white spaces" — the unused, unlicensed spectrum between television channels — to deliver wireless Internet access. That effort paid off when the Federal Communications Commission approved the use of white spaces for broadband last week.

Google and Microsoft also have been key proponents of reforming U.S. patent laws to address a mounting backlog of applications and halt the increase in infringement litigation often driven by poor-quality patents.

IPBiz notes that the Coalition for Patent Fairness "used" the mediocre analysis of Quillen and Webster to propel lobbying efforts for their own business interests. All the talk of evil self-interested patent attorneys was chump change compared to the lobbying going on, which was about business interests, not poor quality patents.
When the Coalition failed on apportionment of damages, they walked away on poor quality patents.


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