Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Jan. 8, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 96.
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107th Congress
1/6. The House and Senate convened in Joint Session to count the votes cast for President and Vice President of the United States by the Electoral College. The session certified George Bush's and Dick Cheney's elections.
1/5. Senate Republicans and Democrats, who are divided 50 to 50 in the 107th Congress, reached a power sharing agreement. The Senate agreed to rules changes by a voice vote which provide that:
• The parties will hold equal representation on committees.
• Republicans will chair committees.
• Legislation receiving a tie vote in committees will proceed to the full Senate.
• Republicans and Democrats will receive equal committee staffing.
1/5. Two Republicans were appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Neither was appointed to the Trade Subcommittee. See also, release. Ryan was first elected in 1998 to represent the southwest corner of Wisconsin. His wife is a tax attorney with Price Waterhouse Coopers. Rep. Brady is in his third term representing a largely rural and small town East Texas district that includes Texas A&M University and the HQ of Compaq.
TLJ Stories
Commerce Department Nominee Evans Headed for Quick Confirmation. (1/6) The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Donald Evans to be Secretary of Commerce on January 4. Senators praised Evans, and pledged their support.
FCC Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 3G Wireless Spectrum. (1/5) The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it seeks public comment to assist it in identifying and allocating spectrum for use by Third Generation wireless systems. 3G is intended to bring broadband wireless Internet access to mobile devices.
New Documents
FCC: NPRM re 3G wireless, 1/5 (PDF, FCC).
FTC: report on e-mail, facsimile, and mail related enforcement actions, 1/5 (HTML, FTC).
USPTO: revised version of guidelines to be used in review of patent applications for compliance with the "utility" requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 101.
USPTO: guidelines to be used in review of patent applications for compliance with the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 1.
Milberg: complaint against M&A West, a securities class action, 1/5 (PDF, Milberg)
FCC: Agenda for Jan. 11 meeting, 1/4 (HTML, FCC).
Updated Sections
News from Around the Web.
News Briefs
1/5. The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [62 pages in PDF] regarding spectrum allocation for 3G wireless. The FCC seeks comments on the possibility of introducing new advanced mobile and fixed services in frequency bands currently used for cellular, broadband PCS, and SMR services, as well as in five other frequency bands: 1710-1755 MHz, 1755-1850 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz, 2160-2165 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz. Third Generation (3G) wireless technology is intended to bring broadband Internet access to portable devices. See, TLJ story. See also, FCC release.
1/5. The FCC's NPRM on 3G wireless also contained an Order denying a petition filed by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) requesting that the 2500-2520 MHz and 2670-2690 MHz bands be reallocated to the Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS).
1/5. Hewlett Packard (HP) announced that it has filed a § 337 complaint with the USITC against Microjet, Printer Essentials, and Priceless Inkjet Cartridge. HP alleges that respondents are importing into and selling in the U.S. inkjet cartridge products in violation of six of HP's patents. See, HP release.
1/5. The USPTO published in the Federal Register a revised version of guidelines to be used by USPTO personnel in their review of patent applications for compliance with the "utility" requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 101. This item also includes a detailed review of public comments received by the USPTO on this matter. See, Federal Register, Jan. 5, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 4, at Pages 1092 - 1099. See also, USPTO release. For more information, contact Mark Nagumo at 703-305-8666 or Linda Therkorn at 703-305-8825.
1/5. The USPTO published in the Federal Register guidelines that will be used by USPTO personnel in their review of patent applications for compliance with the "written description" requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 1. See, Federal Register, Jan. 5, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 4, at Pages 1099 - 1111. For more information, contact Stephen Walsh at 703-305-9035 or Linda Therkorn at 703-305-8800.
1/5. The FTC released a report [394 KB in PDF] titled "Project Mailbox IV: Report on Law Enforcement Actions and Consumer Education Initiatives; October 1, 1999 - September 30, 2000." The report lists and describes actions brought by the FTC, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, SEC, and state governments associated with illegal use of U.S. mail, facsimiles, and e-mail. See, FTC release.
1/5. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its Opinion in Union Pacific v. Chesapeak Energy. This opinion addresses the legal issues of patent claim construction, invalidity for nonenablement, and invalidity for indefiniteness, in dispute over oil and gas drilling technology. Union Pacific Resources Company filed suit against Chesapeake in the U.S. District Court (NDTex) alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,311,951, which discloses a method for locating a drill bit in a horizontal borehole relative to the surrounding subsurface strata. The District Court ruled that the patent in suit is invalid for nonenablement and indefiniteness; it also found non-infringement. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
1/4. The FCC published an agenda for its Jan. 11 meeting. The schedule includes Implementation of Video Description of Video Programming (MM Docket No. 99-339), and Review of the Commission’s Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion to Digital Television (MM Docket No. 00-39).
1/4. "The ITAA announced its support for legislation pertaining to modernization of election procedures. HR 5674 IH and S 1 IS, titled the Election Reform Act, were both introduced in the 106th Congress on Dec. 15, 2000. They would establish another federal election commission that would have authority to conduct studies and set voluntary standards for federal, state and local election procedures and administration. It would also hand out grants "to improve and modernize the administration of elections". "Today's information technology can enable the U.S. accurately and efficiently to count and record votes," said ITAA President Harris Miller in a release. The original sponsors of HR 5674 are Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Rep. Pat Kennedy (D-RI), and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM). The original sponsors of S 1 include Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ).
1/4. An individual named Peter Kanevsky filed a complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against M&A West, Inc. and two of its officers and directors alleging violation of federal securities laws. The plaintiff, who is represented by the law firms of Milberg Weiss and Kaplan Kilsheimer & Fox, seeks class action status. Count one alleges violation of § 10b of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Count two alleges violation of § 20 of the 1934 Act. M&A West is a small company traded on the OTC BB as MAWI that develops, invests in and operates Internet and technology related companies. Milberg Weiss is a law firm that specializes in bring securities class action suits against technology companies.
Editor's Note: The TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert includes items 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.
1/5. Outgoing USTR Charlene Barshefsky announced that upon leaving office later this month she will become a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. See, USTR release.
1/5. John Fiorini, will join the Washington DC office of the law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding as a partner specializing in mass media and telecom law. He was a partner in the Washington DC office of Gardner Carton & Douglas. See, WRF release. Fiorini has argued against low power FM radio licensing.
1/5. Cal. Gov. Gray Davis announced the appointment of Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Mark Simons as an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Five. He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Zerne Hanning. See, Davis release.
1/4. Michael Vatis, Director of FBI's National Infrastructure Proctection Center, announced his departure. The NIPC is an interagency unit located at the FBI that was created by Bill Clinton's Presidential Decision Directive 63 in 1998. The NIPC attempts to warn of, and respond to, cyber attacks. See also, Vatis' July 26, 2000, testimony to the House Government Management, Information, and Technology Subcommittee, and his Feb. 29, 2000, testimony before a joint hearing of the House Crime Subcommittee, and the Senate Criminal Justice Oversight Subcommittee.
1/2. Eight Limbach & Limbach attorneys joined Gray Cary. The Limbach firm, which specialized in patent prosecutions and litigation, ceased operations at the end of last year. All eight will work out of Gray Cary's Palo Alto or San Francisco offices. Karl and George Limbach, co-founders of the Limbach firm, will join as Of Counsel. Ronald Yin will join as a partner focusing on business counseling, procurement, licensing and enforcement, including USITC proceedings, of patents relating to advanced technology, including semiconductor processes and circuit design, microprocessors, digital circuits, computer systems, memories, communication and software. Gerald Sekimura will join as a partner focusing on complex patent litigation, USITC proceedings, patent interferences, and the prosecution of patents in the areas of analog and digital electronics, semiconductors, memories, graphics, electronic and optical computer systems, and biomedical instrumentation. Edward Weller will join as special counsel focusing on strategic counseling on patent protection and enforcement and patent portfolio management and procurement of patents in business methods, software, and electronics including semiconductors, digital circuits, computer systems and optical systems. Alan Limbach, Eric Hoover, and Kyla Harriel will join as associates. See, Gray Cary release.
1/2. Nancy Wojtas joined the Palo Alto office of the law firm of Cooley Godward as a partner in the Business Department. She will concentrate corporate securities, acquisitions, dispositions and financings. She previously worked in Los Angeles office of Manatt Phelps. Previously, she worked at the SEC, both in the Division of Market Regulation, and as Counsel to the Chairman.
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