CyberTruth, LLC is a full-service Digital Forensics expert witness consultancy that provides services primarily to law firms in both civil and criminal defense cases. They provide analysis, reporting and testimony in cases involving a wide range of Digital Devices and Cloud Services, as well as Audio and Video Evidence Analysis.
John H. Morris, Esq., Owner and Principal Analyst at CyberTruth, has over 40 years of experience in technology, including 17 years at Microsoft in a variety of technical services roles. Mr. Morris left Microsoft to open Nashville Vanguard Law and, later, CyberTruth, allowing him to focus on working with those who needed his expertise most.
Mr. Morris is licensed to practice in the Tennessee state courts, admitted to practice in the Middle District Tennessee Federal Court, pending admission to Eastern District Tennessee Federal Court, as well as admitted Pro Hac Vice to the Southern District of New York Federal Court. He is a current member of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA), Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL), Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA), and American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery.
Litigation Support - Mr. Morris works with criminal defense attorneys, civil litigators, divorce attorneys, and select Individuals. He has provided analysis, expert reports, and testimony in hundreds of cases and can provide numerous references as to the results.
Depending on the case, Mr. Morris serves as a forensic expert with years of experience in finding digital evidence others have tried to hide, an expert witness able to reinforce or disprove forensic practices and results, an assisting attorney for lead attorneys in need of a technology-oriented second chair, or as a provider of eDiscovery for small and midsized firms otherwise unable budget for such services.
Areas of Expertise:
Audio / Video Forensics - CCTV, traffic cameras, teller machines, police cameras, and cell phones; Digital media authentication, Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format) analysis for audio and video files, Forensic data analysis and interpretation, Media conversion, Recovery of deleted or corrupted data, Audio / video editing, Demonstrative exhibit creation
Cell Phone Forensics - Contacts, Photos, Calendars, Notes, SMS and MMS messages, Video, Email, Web browsing information, Location information, Social networking messages, Social networking contacts
Cellular Technology / Tracking - Navigation data analyzed for position and location to forensically reconstruct traveled path
Cloud Forensics - Locating, identifying, and separating suspected or compromised data for OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, iCoud, Sharepoint, iDrive
Computer Forensics / eDiscovery - Identify, collect, examine, and preserve evidence stored on digital media including E-mail, Activity logs, Correspondence, User documents, Internet activity, Browser history, Computer backups, Email archives, Wifi history, Hard drives, Recovery of deleted data, Intrusion detection, Spyware detection, Malware detection
Social Media Forensics - Analysis of platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Discord, Reddit, Match, Tinder, LinkedIn Signal, What's App, Periscope, MeWe, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, and more.
Mark McFarland, PE, DFE, is the founder and CEO of Discovery Engineering. Mark provides expert consulting services for plaintiff and defense counsel on civil and criminal cases nationwide.
Mark's practice covers a wide range of cases, typically involving electrical, electronic, or telecommunications phenomena. He has worked with lawyers in several fields including: personal injury, liability, auto accidents, medical malpractice, class action, insurance claims, contract disputes, securities fraud, homicide, sex trafficking, and more.
Contact Mark at Discovery Engineering when you have litigation involving electrical, electronic, cellular, or GPS evidence. Licensed & Board Certified. 720-593-1640
Dunham Engineering provides a wide array of Storage Tank and Corrosion Engineering and Inspection services. With offices in McAllen, College Station and Oklahoma City, they are able to provide local service to a large geographic area. Dunham Engineering is licensed to provide engineering services in numerous states and will travel wherever needed.
Dunham Engineering Inc. helps owners, engineers, contractors, and architects produce high-quality projects and provides inspection services for everything from water storage tanks, oil tanks, and bridges, to residential foundations and framing.
Litigation Support - Dunham Engineering provides expert witness services to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant. Services include on-site inspection, thorough reporting, depositions, arbitration, mediation, and trial testimony. Cases include issues with:
Construction of Elevated Steel and Concrete Structures
Corrosion Engineering of Steel and Concrete Structures
Fall Protection on Elevated Structures
Jimmy D. Dunham, PE, NACE, CWI has over 50 years of general engineering experience, including 21 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His specialty is Steel Structures and Protective Coatings for Corrosion Control, including water tanks. He has designed and supervised over 500 water tank construction and rehabilitation projects. Mr. Dunham founded Dunham Engineering in 1992 and grew the company into one of the premier structural engineering specialty firms in the region.
Accomplishments: • Provided engineering design and management for 1,000+ water tank coating and construction projects, and 200+ lead abatement projects in Texas over the last 20 years. •Provided engineering design and management for 1,000+ water tank coating and construction projects, and 200+ lead abatement projects in Texas over the last 20 years. • Performs approximately 50 structural and corrosion evaluations on tanks, towers, buildings and bridges annually. • Inspected and designed 5 elevated storage tank rehabilitation projects for Laguna Madre Water District in the last 4 years, all requiring containment. • Inspected and designed elevated storage tank rehabilitation project for Los Fresnos, Texas that is currently in construction phase. Project required containment. • Designed and inspected numerous East Texas water tank construction and rehabilitation projects for Owners including City of Groves, North Hardin Water Supply Corp., City of Silsbee, City of Beaumont, and many others. • Designed containment systems for numerous bridge and water tank rehabilitation projects.
Travis C. Tatum, PE, CWI, NACE, API, has been practicing engineering since 2006. Certified in both Civil and Structural Engineering, he is skilled at bringing projects in on-time and on-budget. A recognized expert in Structural and Corrosion Engineering Design, Construction, and Rehabilitation, Travis has presented numerous white papers at various conferences and has served as a qualified expert witness.
Structural Engineering Accomplishments: • Commercial Building Roof Evaluation & Rehabilitation, City of College Station, TX. • Sam Houston State University Bowers Stadium Rehabilitation and Expansion, Huntsville, TX. • Structural Evaluation & Rehabilitation of the historic Texas Cotton Gin Museum, Burton, TX. • Commercial and Residential Foundation Evaluation & Design. • Modification Inspection, Design & NDT for Various Monopoles, Self-Support Towers, Guyed Towers & High-Mast Light Poles (HMLPs). Customers include SHSU, Crown Castle, and SBA Communications.
Storage Tank and Corrosion Engineering Accomplishments: • Rehabilitation of Sugar Land and Baytown Elevated Water Storage Tanks, winners of the 2015 and 2016 SSPC William Johnson Award for outstanding achievement demonstrating aesthetic merit in industrial coating work. • Rehabilitation of 4 Elevated Water Storage Tanks, Fort Worth Water Department, Fort Worth, TX. • API Inspection, Evaluation, Rehabilitation and Return-To-Service of 6 Fuel Storage Tanks for Fikes Waco Terminal, Waco, TX. • Rehabilitation of 4 Elevated Water Storage Tanks, SJRA, The Woodlands, TX. • Rehabilitation of 5 Elevated Water Storage Tanks, Port Isabel and South Padre Island, TX. • Design & Construction Mgmt. of Horseshoe Bay West and Summit Rock Composite Elevated Tanks, City of Horseshoe Bay, TX. • Rehabilitation of 2.0MG Elevated Water Storage Tank, Brownsville PUB, Brownsville, TX. • Fuel Storage Tank Evaluations & Air Monitoring, College Station Fire Training Center, TEEX, College Station, TX.
Joe Seiter, PE, NACE, API, has over 25 years of experience in Mechanical Engineering, including a wide range of coding design obtaining his master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma Christian University in 2017. Mr. Seiter has designed and supervised construction of tank and freight rail cars, ocean sea containers, trailers, oil and natural gas.
Career Highlights • Performs approximately 50 structural and corrosion evaluations on tanks and metal building structures annually for the Oklahoma branch office. • Structural steel inspection of Positive Tomorrows school in Oklahoma City • Structural steel inspection of Remerge Women’s Center in Oklahoma City • Structural steel inspection of Norman Pediatrics building in Norman • Construction dispute deposition and testimony experience • Provided engineering design of 40,000 bbl./day oil terminal. • Designed 53’ dry van trailer with 2-ton reduction in tare weight. • Designed ocean-going container with 2 1/2-ton reduction in tare weight. • Named on 10 patents for railcars, trailers and structures. • Blast mitigation design for rail tunnels and bridges. • Sheet metal subcontractor/mechanic prior to engineering career with metal roof fabrication and installation experience. Notable projects: TGI Fridays metal standing seam roof system and Stuart Anderson Black Angus Steakhouses metal batten roof system.
Jacob Sharony, PhD, MBA, has over 25 years of experience in Mobile and Wireless Technologies. He is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University, teaching wireless technologies and applications. He also served as a faculty member of the electrical and computer engineering department and director of the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology at Stony Brook University. Dr. Sharony held engineering and management positions in diverse technology disciplines at Time Warner Cable, Motorola, BAE Systems, NEC Research Institute, and IBM Research. He has over 50 US patents (pending and issued) and has served on several government expert panels.
Litigation Support - Dr. Sharony provides Patent and Class Action litigation support and expert consulting in mobile and wireless technologies. This includes patent infringement and invalidity analysis, FRAND analysis, writing expert reports, and deposition, and testimony in court. His deep knowledge of target markets, including telecom, healthcare, logistics, transportation, government, hospitality, mobile commerce and supply chain management, combined with extensive expertise in wireless and mobile technologies ensure innovative and successful solutions.
Cameron Sowder is a Certified Platinum Telecom / Mobility / IT Professional with an accomplished 24-year career successfully working with enterprises, telecom carriers, technology vendors, and telecom management providers, management companies, consulting firms, service providers, and integrators.
A leading global professional in telecommunications and related technologies, Mr. Sowder's clients have included Cisco, the State of California, Manage Mobility / Sprint, Wells Fargo / Wachovia, MDSL, Veramark Technologies / Calero Software, Verizon, Cingular Wireless / AT&T Mobility, etc.
Litigation Support - Mr. Sowder is a Subject Matter Expert specializing in Telecom Management and Mobile Management projects,research, delivery, sourcing, sales, implementation, operations, staffing, and auditing. His services are available to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant and include thorough reporting, deposition, and trial testimony as needed.
Areas of Expertise:
Invoice Processing and Payments
Inventory and Asset Details
Contract Negotiation and Loading
Rate Plan Analysis
Audit and Optimization
Vendor and Dispute Management
Finance and Accounting
Data Analysis and Reporting
Mobile Device Setup
Sales and Marketing
Telecom Management Career Highlights: • Developed TEM and MDM programs for AT&T and Sprint as well as several suppliers. • Recently nominated as TEM Professional of the Year, as well as TEM Project of the Year. • Previously a Director of the Telecom Expense Management Industry Association (TEMIA). • Known for being available nearly 24/7 and managing international and remote / telecommute / virtual projects and teams. • Telephony and IT / IS / ICT experience includes SDLC, ERP, CRM, security, finance, cloud, and general management. • Currently pursuing Doctorate in Technology Entrepreneurship. Master’s in Telecom Management and Bachelor’s in Technology Management.
J. Armand Musey, CFA, JD/MBA, founder and president of Summit Ridge Group, LLC, provides expert witness testimony for the Telecom, Media, and Satellite Industries. Mr. Musey is a highly regarded financial analyst with expertise in Asset Valuation, Business Valuation, Financial Analysis of Economic Damages, and Financial Scenario Analysis.
Mr. Musey also has significant experience in corporate governance and investment research practices. He offers litigation support for clients with complex financial analysis or valuation projects. His background also includes Wall Street research methods and practices on behalf of defendants in insider trading cases.
Mr. Musey's industry knowledge, financial expertise, and extensive writing experience allow him to expediently craft well-argued independent written direct testimony documents that withstand scrutiny in depositions and during courtroom cross-examination. Prior expert witness experience and years of communicating with investors of all types have honed his skills at orally communicating his industry knowledge and financial expertise. Moreover, Mr. Musey's legal background facilitates his ability to communicate with legal professionals, understand the legal relevance of case facts, and efficiently read legal documents.
Areas of Expertise Include:
Industry and Business
FCC Spectrum Licenses (including orbital slot valuation and wireless spectrum valuation)
Satellite Communications Industry and Related Media and Telecommunications Topics
Financial and Economic
Financial Analysis of Economic Damages
Financial Scenario Analysis
Investment Research Practices - including accepted used of information sources and relationships with company management
William "Bill" Redpath, ASA, CFA, CPA, ABV, CIPM, Managing Director at Summit Ridge Group, is a Business Appraiser with 36 years experience valuing companies and assets in the Broadcast, Media, and Telecommunication Industries.
Mr. Redpath currently heads the Chicago office of Summit Ridge Group. Before joining Summit Ridge Group, he worked for nearly 35 years at BIA Advisory Services, LLC, where he completed hundreds of fair market valuations and purchase price allocations for financial reporting and tax reporting purposes.
Previously, Mr. Redpath was a Senior Financial Analyst at NBC and an Internal Auditor at ABC (both in New York), Assistant Financial Manager at WISH-TV, Indianapolis, and a Staff Auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. in Cincinnati.
Litigation Support - Mr. Redpath has participated in nearly 100 litigation support projects, including 36 depositions, and has testified in court or at arbitration hearings 24 times.
Areas of Expertise
Litigation Support Business Valuation
Valuation Theory / Methodology
Media and Entertainment
Cable & Satellite
Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA), Business Valuation
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Virginia
Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)
M.B.A., University of Chicago (Booth)
B.A., Economics & Political Science, Indiana University
Dr. Lavian holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in computer science, specializing in networking and communications. He is a consummate expert in network communications, telecommunications, Internet Protocols (TCP/IP), LAN/WAN, Streaming media, VoIP, mobile wireless, and Internet/Web technologies. He has over 30 years of experience, has invented over 120 patents, and has co-authored over 25 scientific publications. For 20 years, Dr. Lavian has researched, studied, and lectured at UC Berkeley Engineering. He has served as an industry fellow and lecturer with UC Berkeley’s Industrial Engineering IEOR, Berkeley Engineering’s SCET, UC Berkeley’s start-up accelerator, SkyDeck, as principal investigator for CRadar.Ai and CTO for Aybell.
Areas of Expertise:
Network communications, telecommunications, Internet protocols (TCP/IP), VoIP, Streaming Media, and mobile wireless:
Communication Networks: Internet protocols; TCP/IP suite, TCP, UDP, IP, Ethernet, 802.3, network protocols, network software applications, data link, network, and transport layers (L2, L3, L4), packet switching, data center network architecture.
Mobile Wireless: Wi-Fi, 802.11, Bluetooth, MAC, PHY, Wireless LAN (WLAN). Cellular systems, SMS, instant messaging (chat), mobile devices, smartphones.
Internet/Cloud: Internet Technologies, Web applications, HTTP, e-mail, SMTP, POP, IMAP, Java, C/C++, file transfer FTP, client-server, cloud computing, distributed computing.
USAForensic is a boutique state-of-the-art forensics company with full-time labs in Phoenix, Arizona and Detroit, Michigan. Our booking office is on the east coast. This helps with an earlier start each day and with overseas cases.
Specializing in forensic Audio, Video, Cell Phones, Computers Photography & ”Cell Tower tracking” debunking. USAForensic is court certified in Federal, US Military, US District, many State and county courts throughout the United States. International cases are not uncommon. Mr. Neumeister has worked in 23 countries over the past 40 years.
Clients range from the largest Law firms to private firms, large corporations, the Department of Defense, government agencies, advocacy groups, the DOJ to the innocence project.
Technology is flying past the court system. We’re here to work with attorneys to understand how to deal with digital or analog evidence, how to challenge it or how to get it admitted into evidence.
We prefer to work in the background assisting attorneys, even writing out Daubert 702 & 902 issues regarding other parties evidence submissions.
In a recent Federal Daubert hearing USAForensic worked with DOD JAG attorneys to get police cell tower tracking ruled inadmissible. The federal judge rule police cell tower tracking as “Garbage in, Garbage out”.
Not a verifiable science, not peer reviewed, no scientific white-paper to support its use.
Over 600 cases in the past 3 years. From the very highest profile to simple straightforward forensic cell phone extractions or video and audio clarification for court use.
To us Data is Data & takes no side, but it has to be verifiable data.
We've all seen the TV crime shows where the forensic technician opens the grainy surveillance, then zooms in on a tiny face, license plate or scrap of paper, hits the enhance button and, magically, the image becomes sharp and clear (accompanied by appropriate background music).
Keith Mallinson has more than 25 years of experience in the Telecommunications Industry: as a research analyst, consultant, and testifying expert witness. Complementing his industry focus, he has a broad skill set including technologies, market analysis, regulation, economics, and finance.
Background Information - Prior to founding WiseHarbor in 2006, Mallinson led Yankee Group's global Wireless/Mobile research and consulting team as Executive Vice President, based in Boston, from 2000. Until then, he had overall responsibility for the firm's European division, as Managing Director from 1995. Prior to that he was the European Research Director. Keith Mallinson started his career in military communications design, project management and commercial systems engineering at the UK Ministry of Defence. He also worked as an engineer at an electronic security systems company. For several years he was a director at a seed capital investment firm specializing in ICT and biotechnology. He has an undergraduate electronic engineering degree from London University's Imperial College and an MBA from the London Business School, including an academic exchange with Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Illinois. Mr. Mallinson has published numerous articles and speaks publicly at major industry events on a wide variety of topics including next-generation mobile network technologies, broadband wireless, fixed-mobile convergence and substitution, handset semiconductor technologies, intellectual property patents and licensing, emerging markets in developing nations, mobile search, and advertising.
Litigation Support - Having published research on a wide variety of commercial, technical, and regulatory matters, Keith Mallinson applies his skills in market and competitive analysis, advocacy, and expert testimony. He couples sector knowledge with financial and economic analysis to derive valuations or estimate litigation damages. His skills span Telecommunication Industry Analysis and Patent Licensing. Mr. Mallinson's services are available to attorneys representing both plaintiff and defendant.
The automotive industry is being revolutionized by continuous cloud connectivity, autonomous driving technologies, drive train electrification and shared mobility. These transformations are being facilitated in part by the standardized cellular technologies now commonly implemented in “connected vehicles” or “CVs”.
Change will be huge but gradual over the next decade. With 5G yet to make its mark beyond eMBB, a second wave of growth including widespread implementation of IoT using 5G SA, and with mMTC and eURLLC including enterprise deployments, will have major impact commencing around 2025.
A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and former President of the World Bank, controversially suggests that auctioning spectrum for 5G is detrimental to the U.S. and helps Huawei. While spectrum allocation is an important issue in industrial and economic policy, high auction fees do not appear to have impaired U.S. development and deployment of 4G or 5G.
It took the industry 30 years to consolidate mobile communications developments into a single 4G standard with the introduction of LTE and the demise of WiMAX. That attainment—also in 5G—should be cherished; but it is imperiled by geopolitical developments.
Aggregate royalty payments for licensing cellular technology standard-essential patents (SEPs) in smartphones have remained in modest single-digit percentages and have declined since 2013. This defies purported concerns that the stacking of patent royalties paid to multiple licensors have led to or would lead to unreasonably high aggregate rates on mobile devices
Technological improvements in cars over the decades have generally reduced costs or increased performance and safety. “Analog” technologies including collapsible steering columns, crumple zones and seatbelts have saved car occupants from death or serious injury. Many digital technologies have also improved our in-car experience with entertainment, mobile communications
Patent pooling is increasingly attractive for licensing cellular technologies with emerging IoT including 5G because it can provide greater transparency, predictability, and various efficiencies such as lower transaction costs at scale in standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing with multiple dimensions and complexities including
While litigation is bogging down the licensing of cellular standard essential patents (SEPs) in vehicles with disputes about where in the production supply chain licensing may or must occur, this is also delaying payment of Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) royalty charges in these cases and causing confusion about licensing value.
While there is much uncertainty about the outlook for standard-essential patent royalty rates in court determinations, there are plenty of solid benchmarks in well-established comparable licenses (“comps”). The former rates are thin on the ground and have been made up based on some dubious and fiercely...
A European Commission DG Growth initiative described in its Roadmap on Standard Essential Patents for a European digitalised economy aims to increase information on SEPs so implementers can get a better idea about which of these they might be infringing. Additional disclosures on how patent claims might read on the standards could be beneficial. Requirements should reflect the dynamics and uncertainties in standards development and patent prosecution and must not be onerous to patent owners. These are issues for standards development organisations to consider.
The notion of "peak smartphone" is widely discussed of late, including by the Economist. Revenues are flattening with longer replacement cycles, saturating markets, resistance to Apple's price increases, decreasing prices among Android's fiercely competitive OEMs and allegedly diminishing technical improvements in successive new device models. 5G holds massive growth potential, but much of that is in industrial and IoT markets that will take at least several years to establish themselves and grow to levels that will have substantial impact on overall device and service revenues.
US, China, Japan and Korea are seizing global leadership in 5G with support of coherent and helpful industrial policies in those nations across the entire mobile ecosystem including technology development, spectrum licensing, site acquisition and operator consolidation. All these nations will launch 3GPP standard-compliant 5G services in 1Q 2019, except for the US, that might start sooner, and Japan, where the first launches are expected before yearend 2019. The first 5G smartphones will probably be sold to consumers to be sold to consumers in 2Q 2019.
Recent new technology deployments with gigabit LTE at Telstra in Australia, Sprint in the U.S. and EE in the UK highlight how much mobile communications technologies have improved since the introduction of mobile data services with circuit-switched and then packet-switched offerings from around 20 years ago. Peak and average user speeds have increased by a factor of 10,000. By way of comparison, microprocessor performance doubling every couple of years, as predicted by Moore's Law, has increased it only one thousand-fold over that period. Cellular performance improvements are therefore quite spectacular given the vagaries of connecting through the ether up to hundreds of meters, as well as processing those signals in the confines of around one square centimeter of baseband processor silicon!
In March 2015, IEEE significantly amended its patent policy in what was couched as an "update" but that seeks to significantly revise commitments from parties holding patent claims essential to IEEE standards to license those rights on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms. Changes disallow patent holders from receiving any value attributable to the standards, require licensing at the smallest saleable patent practicing unit level, and deny these rights holders entitlement to seek an injunction against an unlicensed implementer until appellate review is exhausted. IEEE’s stated objective was to protect implementers from patent holdup, which was alleged without any substantiation. IEEE is promoting, by reducing technology licensing costs, the short-term interests of certain implementers while undermining standard-essential patent values and the ability of SEP owners to receive adequate compensation, they are entitled to, from licensing their SEPs.
At last, American authorities are also beginning to do the right thing for owners of standard-essential patents. Under the previous administration of President Barack Obama, America's agencies did the wrong thing by seriously undermining standard-essential patents in various ways. For example, this existentially threatened the independence of Qualcomm, which relies substantially on its patent-licensing business to fund long-term R&D including that in upcoming 5G mobile communications. Thankfully, President Donald Trump's administration has recognised the important need to support, not undermine, the nation's technology innovators, and uphold their patent rights, as enshrined in the US Constitution.
In a major ruling that underscores judicial independence, federal judge Richard J. Leon has just unconditionally approved the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, rebuffing the US government's effort to stop the $85.4 billion deal.
Major innovations in cellular technologies arise largely from the substantial Research and Development (R&D) investments and inventions of relatively few companies, followed by widespread collaborations including many more in the process of standard setting.
While Ericsson is a leading contributor to mobile communications standards, a US District Court in California has significantly undervalued Ericsson's standard-essential patents (SEPs) by relying heavily on flawed "top-down" valuation analysis that prorates royalties by company for 2G, 3G and 4G based on SEP counting. This analysis applies a series of inaccurate assumptions which whittle down royalty rates from an understated notional maximum in a succession of unreliable steps. The resulting rates derived are a lot lower than those found in a European court's FRAND determination for the same company in the same year (2017) and for the same 2G, 3G, and 4G patent portfolios. The differences between these US and European determinations are irreconcilable.
Radio spectrum is the lifeblood of wireless networks. Traditional methods of doling out spectrum have somewhat hindered rather than helped maximize the availability of affordable Internet access, even if this was not the case with voice and text. Instead of seeking to aggrandize auction proceeds by creating scarcity, more flexible allocations including shared as well as traditional licensed and unlicensed assignments are required.
I participated as a panelist in a session entitled, "Economists: Do They Have a Place?," at the Patents in Telecoms and the Internet of Things conference at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 2017. This article is substantially my remarks in that conference panel session. Before my remarks, Stephen Haber of Stanford University said that I had posed the defining question for the entire conference in an audience question-and-answer exchange the previous day. It had perturbed me to hear a panel speaker mischaracterize the communications standards as platforms of preexisting technologies upon which Internet of Things (IoT) innovation will occur. In response, I said that communications standards are rich in technology innovation and patented intellectual property.
As I explained in IP Finance last week, following President Trump's blocking of Broadcom's hostile bid to acquire Qualcomm, by remaining independent the cellular technology leader will be able to maintain its long-term commitment to high levels of R&D investment (at 23 percent of sales recently), most significantly including that in 5G communications standard-essential IP.
The broadband performance and economics of cellular with 4G and 5G is making it possible for many of us to do without any wired connection at all - already including those who, on average, stream up to an hour of video per day. Nevertheless, most homes will continue to need fixed connections; but 5G fixed-wireless access will serve many of these.
At a conference entitled Patents in Telecoms & the Internet of Things, at George Washington University in the District of Columbia last week, I was perturbed to hear a speaker mischaracterizing the communications standards as platforms of preexisting technologies upon which IoT innovation will occur. Major research and development investments are being made in communications technologies and standards to satisfy the anticipated demands of 5G and IoT. In fact, these investments, with significant innovations resulting already, are largely a leap of faith in advance of hoped-for IoT applications development and proof of demand for these.
Consumers are only beginning to use LTE in unlicensed spectrum. So far chatter has mostly been about operator trials, commercial chipsets and sales of devices to seed the market before anyone is to be able to use the new service feature. Nevertheless, the commercial impact will be quite dramatic within a few years.
The new US Department of Justice antitrust leader says antitrust enforcers are too accommodating to IP implementers when in dispute with standard-essential patent owners. Instead, patent owners should be allowed to decide how they want to exercise their property rights: "under the antitrust laws, a unilateral refusal to license a valid patent should be per se legal" – he also reminds us "the right to exclude is one of the most fundamental bargaining rights the patent owner possesses."
Technology innovation by chip, device and equipment vendors plus intense competition among national oligopolies of mobile network operators has improved cellular performance and reduced costs to the enormous benefit of consumers. Meanwhile, recent financial gains in the mobile ecosystem are largely accruing to Silicon Valley's tech titans including Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Netflix. The massive network investments required for 5G may not be forthcoming if this imbalance persists.