ABI Technology & Intellectual Property Committee Newsletter

ABI Committee News

Committee Co-Chairs and New Leadership Positions Announced

ABI is pleased to announce your 2008-2009 co-chairs, as well as the addition of five new leadership positions. These new positions are a result of your feedback regarding opportunities for involvement and advancement in the association. 

Co-Chairs: H. Jason Gold
                William K. Snyder

Education Director: Kalina B. Miller

Listserve Moderator: Mary M. Weibel

Membership Relations Director: Jeremy W. Ryan

Newsletter Editor: Patricia B. Tomasco

Special Projects/Task Force Leader: Wendy E. Morris

Click here for contact details for each position, as well as position descriptions for each.


The Pros and Cons of Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is a term coined by the telecommunications industry to refer to the use of the Internet in delivering a variety of communications media such as voice (VoIP), video and music. The FCC is poised to determine (or not determine) the regulatory treatment of the Internet in a variety of pending proposed rulemaking and forbearance dockets. The outcome of these proceedings may well predict the next wave of winners and losers in telecommunications arena and, correspondingly, the next candidates for corporate reorganization. In the following two articles, two prominent professionals espouse polar-opposite positions regarding the policy arguments and give us their list of companies that will thrive or flounder in a neutral Internet world.

Net Neutrality Promotes New Technology through Competition

Net neutrality is the concept that all suppliers of content over the Internet would be treated equally by the companies that control the gateways to the Internet. This debate concerns both what we think of as Internet “content” – music, movies, media as well as the VoIP alternative to traditional phone service. Today, using Skype, Vonage or other services, a phone call can be placed from one computer to another without touching the PSTN (public switched telephone network). But if a phone call is made from one server in Washington, D.C., to another server in Austin, Texas, that then calls a local number in Austin to complete, it traverses the network of Southwestern Bell n/k/a AT&T. Can or should the incumbent phone company be permitted to interfere with or discriminate against a call that originates from a local ISP to stifle competition? Similarly, video content can be downloaded by customers of cable broadband providers such as Comcast and can use new technology to peek inside packets traversing its network and sidetrack video content of its competitors in favor of its own content. Net neutrality regulation would require that network providers manage their networks in a way that was not discriminatory or anti-competitive.

Read the full article.

Why Net Neutrality Is Unnecessary and Bad Policy

Internet special interests like Google, eBay, Amazon and Moveon.org are lobbying hard for new utility-like regulation of broadband competitors called “net neutrality.” Fearing hypothetical discrimination, net neutrality regulation proponents want government to preemptively mandate a one-tier Internet where all Internet traffic would be treated equally. Proponents claim that net neutrality would protect free speech as the “First Amendment of the Internet,” even though the Internet has no constitution to amend and the term “net neutrality” emerged in 2002—more than three decades after the Internet’s inception.

Read the full article.

Materials from The Annual Spring Meeting

The Annual Spring Meeting, held April 3-6, 2008, attracted more than 1,100 insolvency professionals from around the world.  The conference featured some excellent educational sessions in addition to featured speakers Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

The Technology and Telecommunications Committee met jointly with the Asset Sales, Financial Advisors, and Investment Banking Committees on Friday afternoon for the session entitled "Everything That The Bankruptcy Professional Needs To Know About Intellectual Property." Kevin Anderson of Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC, George Kelakos of Kelakos Advisors LLC in Greenwich, CT, and James F. Wallack of Goulston & Storrs, PC, in Boston, discussed patents and patent applications as well as some of the lessons learned in the maximization of intellectual property from the Thinking Machines case. Below are the materials presented at the session.

Considerations In Enforcing Patents (pdf)

Selling Patents and Patent Applications in Bankruptcy Cases (pdf)

The Management And Maximization of Intellectual Property - Lessons Learned from The Thinking Machines Case (pdf)