to the ITU, 11/20 (HTML, FCC).
NPRM re spectrum
transfer, 11/20 (49 pages in MS Word, FCC).
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|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
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
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
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
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
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
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
|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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