|The Wall Street Journal reports in its Dec. 29 issue
that "America Online Inc.'s instant- messaging
competitors are lobbying fiercely in the final days leading up
to the Federal Communications Commission's vote on AOL's
merger with Time Warner Inc. Their main concern is the
definition of 'advanced' instant messaging, on which the FCC
is likely to impose conditions." See, full
story. (Subscription web site.)
and draft rule re giving signing and retention bonuses to
government high tech and other workers, 12/28 (TXT, FedReg).
|New Year's Day
|There will be no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert on
Monday, January 1, 2001.
|12/28. The Defense
Dept., GSA, and NASA
published a notice
and draft rule in the Federal Register which amends the
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) by allowing signing
bonuses, retention bonuses, and certain recruitment practices.
The notice states that the purpose is to make the government
competitive with the private sector in hiring and keeping
"employees with critical skills (such as scientists and
engineers in the software and systems integration
fields)." The draft rule allows for "Signing bonuses
needed to recruit employees with critical skills (such as
scientists and engineers in fields like software and systems
integration), if comparable to the signing bonuses being
offered by firms engaged in predominantly non-Government work
to attract similar job skills" and "Periodic
retention bonuses needed to retain employees with critical
skills ..." Public comments are due by Feb. 26, 2001.
12/28. Calif. Gov. Gray
Davis announced the appointment of John Stewart as
a Judge of the San Francisco County Superior Court. He is
currently a senior partner in the San Francisco office of the
law firm of Carroll Burdick
& McDonough. He is a defense counsel who has litigated
complex civil claims involving trade secrets, financial
institutions, securities, computer keyboard manufacturers, and
professional liability. See, Davis
12/26. NetZero filed a
complaint in U.S. District Court (CDCal)
against Juno alleging patent
infringement. NetZero, an ISP and web marketer, asserts
that it is the exclusive licensee of U.S.
Patent No. 6,157,946, which applies to a process that
enables an ISP to display ads or messages through a window
that is separate from the browser, and that Juno, a competing
ISP, has infringed this patent. NetZero CEO Mark Goldston had
this to say: "We believe this patent applies to the
ad-delivery process used by many of our competitors for both
targeted and untargeted advertisements and will provide
NetZero with a significant competitive edge in this
environment ..." See, NetZero
12/21. Nokia announced
that the antitrust waiting period under the Hart Scott Rodino
Act applicable to Nokia's offer to acquire all outstanding
shares of Ramp Networks has been terminated. The FTC
informed the parties that their request for early termination
of the 15 calendar day waiting period prescribed by the HSR
Act was granted. See, Nokia
release. Ramp Networks, based in Santa Clara, Calif.,
provides purpose built Internet security appliances designed
for small office applications.
|Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs
added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert.
The date indicates when the event occurred, not the date of
posting to Tech Law Journal.
|12/28. Telia, Sweden's
legacy phone company, issued a statement
in which it asserts that "A technical analysis performed
in response to the December 16 decision of the Swedish
National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) to not approve Telia's
application for a UMTS licence ... shows that Telia meets the
PTS' requirements by a wide margin." On Dec. 16 the
Swedish PTS awarded UMTS licenses to four entities: Europolitan,
and Tele2 -- but not Telia. UMTS, or Universal Mobile
Telecommunications System, is one Third Generation (3G)
wireless technology. It is a successor to the European GSM
standard. It has the goal of providing broadband mobile
Internet access at 2Mbps. See, UMTS Forum. The PTS
awarded the licenses on the basis of its assessment of merit,
rather than by competitive auction. Ten applied in this beauty
was rejected on the grounds of "deficiency of technical
feasibility." Telia insists that it can provide a UMTS
cellular network covering 99.98% of Sweden with 4,100 radio
base stations. See, PTS
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