Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Nov. 9, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 60.
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USCA: Opinion in TI v. Tessera and USITC re choice of forum clauses and patent litigation, 11/7 (EXE/MSWord, USCA).
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Quote of the Day

"We have repeatedly urged the Government of Mexico to comply with its WTO commitments. While some progress has been made, Mexico's failure to take additional actions has left us no choice but to request a WTO panel. ... A vibrant telecommunications market is at the foundation of future growth in Mexico and is essential if consumers and businesses in both our countries are to fully participate in a globally networked economy."

Charlene Barshefsky, USTR
News Briefs

11/8. The outcome of the Senate race in Washington state between Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) and Maria Cantwell is still uncertain. The latest count has Gorton ahead by several thousand votes. However, the Washington Elections Division is still counting hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots.
11/8. The U.K. Department of Trade and Industry cleared Microsoft's planned acquisition of 23.6% interest in Telewest Communications. See, DTI release. Stephen Byers, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, stated that he was following the recommendations of the Director General of Fair Trading (DGFT). He stated: "The DGFT has advised me that the relevant market in this case is the provision of software to all digital television set top boxes. The DGFT has also advised me that, having carried out an investigation into the complex issues raised by the case, he has seen no evidence
that Microsoft's stake in Telewest gives rise to sufficient competition concern to recommend a reference to the Competition Commission."
11/8. The USTR announced that the U.S. will request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to examine U.S. claims that Mexico has failed to comply with its WTO commitments in the telecommunications services sector. See, release.
11/8. The USTR announced the outcome of several Special 301 out-of-cycle reviews, and resolution of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) implementation concerns. Both Italy and Poland were moved from the Priority Watch List to the Watch List. Ireland was removed from the Watch List. The USTR cited recent anti-piracy legislation, stiffer penalties, education efforts, and cooperation with industry as the reasons for these determinations. See, USTR release.
11/7. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion [EXE/MS Word] in Texas Instruments v. Tessera and USITC vacating and remanding the judgment of the U.S. District Court (CDCa). At issue was the meaning of a vague choice of forum clause in a license agreement between Texas Instruments and Terresa which provided that "If such disputes, controversies, claims or differences cannot be settled between the parties, any litigation between the parties relating to this Agreement shall take place in California." TI filed a complaint for injunctive relief in U.S.D.C. in Los Angeles seeking to bar Terresa from pursuing a proceeding under §337 before the USITC (which is in Washington DC). The District Court ruled that the choice of forum clause did not apply to USITC proceedings. The Appeals Court disagreed, 2-1. It opined that §337 proceedings are litigation. Judge Rader wrote the opinion; Newman joined. Lourie dissented.
11/8. The ICANN published a notice that it "is nearing completion of its evaluation of the 44 active applications for new TLDs and the preparation of an extensive report. ICANN now expects to post the report on Thursday, 9 November 2000."
11/6. The Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, announced its intent to block the merger of two Silicon Valley companies that provide information management solutions in the field of oncology. Varian Medical Systems Inc. had planned to purchase IMPAC Medical Systems. The DOJ alleged that the transaction would reduce competition in the sale of radiation oncology management systems software and medical devices known as linear accelerators. See, DOJ release. Richard Levy, CEO of Varian, had this reaction: "We respectfully disagree with the Department of Justice’s market interpretation and conclusions regarding how this acquisition would affect consumers, but we believe we would be doing our customers and investors a disservice by entering into what could be a protracted legal proceeding." See, Varian release. See also, IMPAC release.
Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert. The dates indicate when the event occurred, not the date of posting to Tech Law Journal.
The FCC will hold a Commission meeting on Thursday, Nov. 9. The agenda [PDF | MSWord] includes two items pertaining to secondary markets for wireless spectrum. The FCC will consider a Notice Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) concerning the promotion of secondary market mechanisms to facilitate efficient use of wireless spectrum, and a Policy Statement setting forth guiding principles for the promotion of secondary market mechanisms to facilitate efficient use of wireless spectrum.
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