Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Dec. 29, 2000, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 91.
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Breaking News
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.)
New Documents
DOD: notice and draft rule re giving signing and retention bonuses to government high tech and other workers, 12/28 (TXT, FedReg).
Updated Sections
News from Around the Web.
New Year's Day
There will be no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert on Monday, January 1, 2001.
News Briefs
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 release.
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 release.
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.
3G Wireless
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, HI3G, Orange, 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 contest. Telia 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 press release.
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