Soften a patent-infringement penalty
Apple, AT&T, Cisco, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Verizon
Google, InterDigital, Qualcomm, Samsung
When companies collaborate on industry standards—say, so cross-platform devices can talk—any involved party that owns a relevant patent must license it fairly to others. The government is now considering whether the penalties for infringing on such a patent—court injunctions and import bans—are too harsh.
Enact net neutrality
Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Yahoo (and many other web firms)
AT&T and Verizon (and many other service providers)
The Federal Communications Commission issued rules in 2010 that prohibit ISPs from discriminating or blocking lawful content on the wired Internet—with looser rules for mobile—but some ISPs are challenging them in court or in practice.
Expand the global software piracy hunt
Apple, Cisco, Dell, Google, HP, IBM, Intel
Microsoft has been pushing states and the federal government to use domestic laws to fight piracy abroad—such as by holding American companies responsible when their foreign contractors use pirated software.
A version of this article appeared in the November 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.