On June 12, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. had asserted more than 200 patents against Verizon Communications Inc., reportedly demanding more than $1 billion in licensing fees. On its face, this would seem to be a private patent dispute.
Charles Duan is a senior fellow and associate director of tech & innovation policy at the R Street Institute, where he focuses his research on intellectual property issues.
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Experts in the technology industry are closely watching the Apple–Qualcomm litigation, in which the phone and computer designer has charged the chip-making firm of anticompetitive behavior and the chip maker has retaliated with multiple worldwide patent lawsuits. But the dispute is worth the attention of national security experts, too. Recent developments set up a potentially revealing showdown in the larger context of the Trump administration’s foreign economic policy.
Cody Wilson’s legal battle to post his plastic gun schematic is awful, pitting speech values against human lives, raising the specter of more mass shootings, and casting a dark shadow on what should be the bright new technology of 3-D printing. In times like these, it's tempting to wish that a few magic words could make the schematic—and all its legal and moral baggage—simply disappear.
The New York Times reported on March 24 that the FBI and Justice Department are again pushing for extraordinary access to encrypted data. This will certainly set off yet another round of the long-standing debate over encryption.