Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Nov. 21, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 68.
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New Documents

Kennard: speech to the ITU, 11/20 (HTML, FCC).
FCC: NPRM re spectrum transfer, 11/20 (49 pages in MS Word, FCC).
New and Updated Sections

Notice: Tech Law Journal's web hosting provider has experienced technical difficulties since Friday morning which have prevented the normal upload of new and updated files to the Tech Law Journal web site.
Quote of the Day

"God was able to create the earth in just seven days because He did not have to deal with entrenched monopolies."

William Kennard, Chairman of the FCC, Nov. 20, in speech to ITU.
News Briefs

11/20. ISP EarthLink and Time Warner Cable  announced that they have signed an agreement under which EarthLink will offer its broadband Internet services over Time Warner Cable systems. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. AOL and Time Warner are applicants in merger review proceedings before the FTC and FCC in which access to TW's broadband cable Internet access facilities is an issue. Earthlink is the ISP with the second largest subscriber base in the U.S, with 4.6 Million subscribers. AOL is the largest. Time Warner Cable provides cable TV to about 12.6 Million subscribers. The agreement is contingent upon FTC approval and the closing of the AOL Time Warner merger. See, TW release. See also, FCC's AOL-TW merger page.
11/20. Representatives of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) member states met in Munich Germany to begin a Diplomatic Conference to revise the European Patent Convention (EPC). Several items will be addressed, including reducing patenting costs, creating of a European patent, bringing the EPC into compliance with the TRIPs Agreement, and considering patent protection for software. Presently, there is no common European patent court for post grant litigation. Issues regarding infringement, and most issues regarding validity, are decided by the national courts of the individual countries for which a patent is granted. The Convention will also address Community patents, which would be granted by the EPO on the basis of the EPC for the entire territory of the Community and centrally administered. Also, they would not be subject to the national law of the member states, but rather be subject only to Community law in the form of Council Regulation. The meeting will continue through Nov. 29. See, EPO release and EPO background statement.
11/20. The FCC issued a NPRM [49 pages in MS Word] regarding transferring seven narrow bands of spectrum from government to private use.
11/20. FCC Chairman Wm. Kennard gave a speech [MS Word] in Geneva, Switzerland, to the ITU in which he argued that he is fighting against the Congress and industry to bring competition to telecommunications markets. He stated: "My agency’s budget, for example, has to be approved each year by our legislature. This year, some companies have used the budget process to try to undo agreements industry made with us earlier in the year. Industry tries to achieve in a lawmaker’s office what they could not achieve in open hearings before our agency. Then the lawmakers, who are being pressured by industry, call me to testify before their own open hearings. They ask me why I am pushing so hard for competition. I tell them that I am just implementing the law they voted for in 1996."
11/20. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission filed comments with the FCC recommending that the FCC approve the Oklahoma portion of SBC's Section 271 application to provide long distance service in Kansas and Oklahoma. See, SBC release.
11/17. WorldCom and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached an agreement regarding WorldCom's acquisition of Intermedia, under which WorldCom will divest all of Intermedia's assets, except its controlling interest in Digex. To put this agreement into effect the DOJ filed a complaint and proposed consent decree in the U.S. District Court (DDC). The objection of the DOJ related to the circumstance that both WorldCom and Intermedia own Internet backbone networks. Intermedia also provides voice and data services. Digex provides web and applications hosting for e-businesses. WorldCom still has to deal with other antitrust regulators, including the FCC and various state entities. See, DOJ release and WorldCom release.
11/17. Xilinx announced that a federal jury found that Altera infringed two patents owned by Xilinx. Xilinx also stated that it will seek an injunction against Altera to stop all shipments of Altera Flex products and its derivative programmable logic devices that infringe the two patents. Altera said that it will ask the District Court to reverse the jury verdict, and if that fails, appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Xilinx filed its complaint against Altera in U.S. District Court (NDCa) in 1993 alleging infringement of its U.S. Patent No. Re. 34,363 and U.S. Patent No. 4,642,487. Xilinx makes programmable logic devices, including integrated circuits, software design tools, and predefined system functions delivered as cores. Altera also produces programmable logic devices. This is just one of many pending lawsuits between these competitors. See, Xilinx release and Altera release.
11/16. The SEC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDFl) against Internet Capital Holdings, Inc. and Internet Capital Holdings II, Inc., two unregistered investment companies, and their principals. The SEC also obtained emergency TROs, halting the offering of unregistered securities, freezing assets, and appointing a receiver. The SEC alleged that defendants conducted a fraudulent "high-tech" stock offering which violated §§ 5(a), 5(c), § 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and § 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act. See, SEC release.
11/7. The SEC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DKan) against five defendants alleging securities fraud in connection with the offering for sale of unregistered microcap stock whose share prices were inflated by defendants by the issuance of fraudulent press releases over the Internet. The SEC also obtained emergency TROs, halting the offering of unregistered securities, freezing assets, expediting discovery, and appointing a receiver. The SEC alleged that defendants violated § 17(a) of the Securities and § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5. See, SEC 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.
Today: The Department of Justice is scheduled to release a study regarding the Carnivore Internet surveillance system conducted for the FBI by the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Kent law school.
Thursday and Friday: There will be no Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert.
Friday: The SEC's EDGAR system will be shut down for one day on Friday, November 24. The SEC will neither receive nor disseminate electronic filings that day. See, SEC release.
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