By: Yahoo Global Public Policy Team
We recently joined The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), an advocacy and policy organization that counts the world’s most innovative technology companies among their ranks. We’ll be working with ITI to boost our ongoing efforts to help policymakers and regulators better understand our business, allowing us to provide our global customers with the most inspiring and entertaining products possible.
We look forward to working with ITI to help fuel our users’ daily habits around the world!
By Kevin Kramer, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel
The resources that Yahoo and others spend fighting patent trolls and their abusive litigation tactics could be better spent to research and develop new products, to invest in facilities and equipment, and to create jobs.
One way to curb abusive patent lawsuits is to improve patent quality. Yahoo is working to do this in several ways. We share prior art, publish technological developments that we do not patent, and train patent examiners on emerging technologies.
- Sharing Prior Art: We have shared prior art relevant to our business and intend to do so in the future. We are considering ways to more easily share non-confidential information with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We believe that the more information we make available to patent examiners, and the more time they get to study that information, the better equipped they are to analyze patent applications and determine what is patentable and what is not.
- Publication: We routinely publish technological developments that we do not pursue as patents to share information that not only helps patent examiners but also encourages innovation. Our publications are available on IP.com.
- Training : Over the past five years, Yahoo has conducted nine seminars to train USPTO examiners about technologies relevant to our business. For example, we provided both live and web-based trainings on cloud computing, databases, big data, web search, sponsored search, data center cooling, and advertising technologies. These trainings have provided the examining corps with a better understanding of the technologies relevant to the world wide web.
Even with our active engagement, more work remains to stop poor patents and abusive patent litigation. We applaud the Obama administration’s efforts to improve the patent system and to ensure a level playing field for innovators, as well as high quality patents. Yahoo supports legislative reforms that reduce incentives to engage in abusive patent litigation practices, and we look forward to continue working with the USPTO and like-minded companies to improve the system.
What is one way you use technology to make the world a better place? That’s one question we’re asking ourselves this Safer Internet Day. We’re excited to once again support an international effort dedicated to promoting safe and responsible use of the Internet and mobile devices, especially among young people. From opening the doors at our headquarters to host a training for over 50 local School Resource Officers on the Yahoo Digital Safety Diversion Course to Yahoos visiting local schools in Spain and Italy and conducting in-classroom discussions on Internet safety, we’re happy to be taking action inspired by this year’s theme, “Let’s Create a Better Internet Together.” Other events across the globe include:
- Tech Columnist Dan Tynan, who writes the Modern Family column for Yahoo Tech, joins industry experts and leaders at a Safer Internet Day Panel in Washington D.C.
- Policy Director Elizabeth Kanter represents Yahoo in Brussels at a Safer Internet Day roundtable.
- Yahoo Answers will have a featured question this week: What is one good thing about using technology that makes the Internet or the world better? We’d love to see what one of your good things is.
Looking to get involved?
- Check out this infographic with ideas on how to Build a Better Internet. Read them, print them, share them with your loved ones.
- If you’d like more information or to spread safety information in your community, check out our Digital Safety Kit for parents and community members. There, you’ll find how to talk about Internet safety to all ages.
- Share how you think technology can make the world a better place on Yahoo Answers.
Check out the Yahoo homepage on February 11th to see the customized logo celebrating Safer Internet Day!
Visit safely.yahoo.com for more tips on safe online behavior.
By: Yahoo Public Policy
Today, a broad coalition of stakeholders calls for surveillance reform through “The Day We Fight Back”, and collectively voices opposition to government surveillance online without appropriate transparency and accountability.
We at Yahoo will continue to protect the privacy of our users and to ensure our ability to defend it. This includes continuing to advocate strenuously for meaningful reform around government surveillance, demanding that government requests be made through lawful means and for lawful purposes, and fighting government requests that we deem unclear, improper, overbroad, or unlawful. For more information, see the principles that we and other tech companies recently issued calling for government surveillance reform.
We know that many of our users feel as strongly as we do about these issues, and we encourage everyone to learn more about them. Make your voices heard. Sign up for news updates, install a widget on your Tumblr, or send a tweet with the hashtag #TheDayWeFightBack.
In line with the expansion of our Irish operations announced last year, we’ve decided to reorganize our operations further and therefore, as of 21 March 2014, services provided from all our European websites will be provided by Yahoo EMEA, in Ireland.
The structure of our business is driven by business needs and we believe it is in the best interest of our users to have Yahoo EMEA provide all services for all users in the region. A number of factors influence such business decisions:
- Ireland has an extensive data center infrastructure that helps us serve our EMEA users in the most efficient way.
- In respect of Ireland in particular, Dublin is already the European home to many of the world’s leading global technology brands and has been a home for Yahoo for over a decade.
For a summary of the changes, visit our FAQ. Users can contact us here.
By Niamh Clancy, Customer Care Operations, EMEA
By Ebele Okobi, Global Head, Business & Human Rights
We’re proud to share the results of the Global Network Initiative’s (GNI) independent assessment, which underscores Yahoo’s commitment to respecting the freedom of expression and privacy of our users. Earlier today, the GNI released a public report that has determined that Yahoo (along with Google and Microsoft — all founding members of GNI) is making good faith efforts to implement GNI’s Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy. You can see the full report here.
The assessments present a major step forward on human rights accountability in the technology sector. They are the first of their kind and reveal the concrete steps that we and the other GNI founding companies are taking to respect our users’ human rights. We look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders in and outside of GNI to implement the GNI Principles, and to advocate globally for legal and policy reform that protects human rights and puts users first.
I am pleased to offer Yahoo’s support for Chairman Goodlatte’s Innovation Act.
Patent trolls are a needless drain on the resources of many American companies - resources that could be spent more productively developing new products, investing in equipment, and creating jobs.
The Innovation Act represents a balanced approach that both respects the patent system and levels the playing field. The legislation will streamline cases from the start, prioritize important decisions, reduce costs, force real-parties-in-interest into the litigation, and clarify when winning defendants are able to recover their fees.
While I look forward to continuing to work to improve the bill as it works its way through the legislative process, the bill as amended has great potential to minimize troll behavior.
I encourage all Members of Congress to vote in support of this important legislation.
by Kevin T. Kramer Vice President Intellectual Property, Yahoo