|1/17. The NTIA
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding compensating
incumbent federal agency users in the 1755-1850 MHz band that
may be required to modify their systems as a result of
spectrum reallocation for 3G wireless uses. Most of
these incumbent users are military. Third Generation (3G)
wireless services are intended to bring broadband Internet
access to portable devices. See, TLJ
1/17. The NTIA
and FCC hosted a
public meeting between government and industry representatives
on Third Generation (3G) wireless services. The meeting
was held in the Ronald Reagan Building, in Washington DC, and
addressed sharing, band segmentation, and alternative band
issues regarding both the 1755-1850 and 2500-2690 MHz bands.
NTIA chief Greg Rohde also used the occasion to announce a
NPRM on compensating incumbent federal agency users that are
required to modify their systems as a result of reallocation
of their spectrum to the private sector. See, statement
by Rohde. The meeting was otherwise uneventful. The next
public meeting will be on Feb. 15.
1/17. President Elect Bush has not yet named his nominee for
head of the NTIA.
Greg Rohde is currently in the position. He is the
Clinton administration's point man on identifying and
reallocating spectrum for use by 3G wireless services.
He is the former telecom staff assistant to Sen. Byron Dorgan
(D-ND), and is popular with industry stakeholders and on
Capitol Hill. James Dederian is handling NTIA
transition for the incoming Bush administration. Reporters
asked Rohde about this at a meeting on 3G wireless on Jan. 17.
"They are playing this pretty close to their
chests," said Rohde. He was also asked what would become
of the current 3G initiatives under the Bush administration.
"Leadership and direction from the very top," said
Rohde, "is the only way this can happen." But, he
declined to predict what would happen.
|New TLJ Story
to Write Rules on 3G Relocation Reimbursement. The
NTIA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding
compensation of incumbent federal agency users in the
1755-1850 MHz band that may be required to modify their
systems as a result of spectrum reallocation to the private
sector for 3G wireless uses. Most of these incumbent users are
military. Third Generation (3G) wireless services are intended
to bring broadband Internet access to portable devices.
on reimbursement for spectrum relocation, 1/17 (HTML, NTIA).
in Prostar v. Massachi re statute of limitations in action for
cable piracy, 1/17 (HTML, USCA).
|Quote of the Day
|"... the Europeans and the Asians, and other countries,
have been moving very aggressively ahead to develop Third
Generation wireless systems. ... This is going to be the
dominant communications system of the future, and at stake is
the U.S.'s leadership on the Internet, and the U.S.'s
leadership in communications services. ... We stand to loose a
great deal in terms of the future of electronic commerce, and
our role in the New Economy."
Greg Rohde, NTIA chief, Jan. 17.
|1/17. Senate committees continued to hold confirmation
hearings on key Bush cabinet nominees. The Senate Finance
Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Paul
O'Neill to be Secretary of the Treasury. The Senate Judiciary
Committee held the second day of hearings on the
nomination of John Ashcroft to be Attorney General. The
Relations Committee held the second of day of hearings on
the nomination of Colin Powell to be Secretary of
State. Powell and O'Neill are likely to be quickly and easily
confirmed. Ashcroft faces opposition from liberal social
groups and some Democrats in the Senate, but will likely be
1/17. The Electronic Privacy
Information Center (EPIC) wrote kind words about Attorney
General nominee John Ashcroft in the lead item of its Jan. 17
e-mail alert. EPIC noted that the DOJ
is involved in many electronic privacy issues, including
implementation of CALEA,
critical infrastructure protection, Carnivore, and the
proposed Council of Europe cyber-crime treaty. EPIC then
quoted extensively from a 1997 speech that Ashcroft gave on electronic
privacy. "The outrages against privacy committed by
federal law enforcement agencies means one thing: Now, more
than ever, we must protect citizens' privacy from the excesses
of an arrogant, overly powerful government. Law enforcement is
using advances in digital technology as an excuse to insist on
intrusions into privacy that were never allowed in the
pre-digital era," said Ashcroft.
1/17. Nydia Bonnin was named deputy staff director to
the House Commerce
Committee. She previously worked for the National Republican Congressional
Committee, as senior finance advisor. She has also worked
as director of federal government relations for oil company
Atlantic Richfield, as an aide to former Rep. Bill Paxon
(R-NY), and as an aide to former Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL).
The committee also has jurisdiction over energy issues.
|More News Briefs
|1/16. Dennis Devaney was sworn in as a Commissioner
of the USITC.
He is a Republican who was appointed by Clinton on Jan. 3,
2001, for the period expiring at the end of the first session
of the 107th Congress. He was previously Of Counsel in the
Detroit office of the law firm of Butzel Long and a Professor
of Law at Wayne State University Law School. Prior to that, he
was Of Counsel in the Washington DC office of Winston & Strawn. See, USITC
release. The USITC has authority under Section
337 to investigate unfair practices in import trade
involving infringement of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and
other intellectual property rights.
1/17. The FCC approved
the merger of WorldCom
and Intermedia. The FCC adopted an order approving the
application for transfer of licenses. The Antitrust Division of the
Department of Justice (DOJ) reached an agreement with the
parties in November of 2000. The DOJ, WorldCom and Intermedia
agreed all of Intermedia's assets would be divested, 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) on Nov. 17. The objection of the DOJ
related to the circumstance that both WorldCom and Intermedia
owned Internet backbone networks. Intermedia also provides
voice and data services. Digex provides web and applications
hosting for e-businesses.
|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.
|1/17. The U.S. Court
of Appeals (5th Cir.) issued its opinion
v. Massachi, a case regarding the appropriate statute
of limitations to apply to an action for cable piracy
(brought under 47 U.S.C. §§ 553 and 605). The federal
statute specifies no limitation. The trial court applied the
one year prescriptive period for delictual actions under
Louisiana law. The Court of appeals reversed, holding that the
three year limitation of the Copyright Act applies (17
U.S.C. § 507).
1/17. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (Fed Cir) issued its opinion in Tronzo
v. Biomet, an appeal regarding compensatory and
punitive damages in a patent infringement case. Tronzo
filed suit in 1988 against Biomet alleging infringement of a
patent on a hip replacement device (U.S. Patent No. 4,743,262)
and violation of Florida law (breach of a confidential
relationship, fraud, and unjust enrichment). The trial court
jury found for Tronzo on all counts, and awarded compensatory
and punitive damages, which were then capped by the court at
$7,134,000 for compensatory damages, and $20,000,000 for
punitive damages, to avoid double recovery. In a previous
appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed the finding of patent
infringement, upheld the finding of liability under state law,
but reversed with respect to computation of damages. On
remand, the trial court reduced these awards to $520 and
$52,000, respectively, without allowing Plaintiff a new trial.
Tronzo then brought this second appeal. The Appeals Court
reinstated the $20 Million punitive damages award on the
grounds of waiver; Biomet did not raise it in the first
|1/16. Two plaintiffs named Bruce and Leslie Forrest filed a complaint
[PDF] in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia
Communications, and its subsidiary, Verizon Internet
Services, alleging breach of contract, fraud and
misrepresentation in connection with Verizon's DSL service.
Plaintiffs, who are represented by the law office of Cohen Milstein,
seek class action status. Count one alleges breach of contract
for promising, but not providing, seven day per week service.
Count two alleges violation of the Virginia Consumer
Protection Act (VCPA). See, Virginia Code §§ 59.1-200 for
making false and deceptive statements about the service. Count
three alleges false advertising under the VCPA. Count four
alleges negligent misrepresentation. Plaintiffs seek damages
and injunctive relief preventing continuing false or deceptive
practices. See, Cohen
Milstein release. Verizon Internet Services is a Delaware
corporation which is based in Reston, Virginia. Cohen Milstein
is a 25 attorney law firm with offices in Washington DC and
Seattle that specializes bringing class action lawsuits.
|About Tech Law Journal
|Tech Law Journal is a free access web site
and e-mail alert that provides news, records, and analysis of
legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer
and Internet industry.
This e-mail service is offered free of charge to anyone who
requests it. Just provide TLJ an e-mail address.
Number of subscribers (as of Jan. 18): 582.
P.O. Box 15186, Washington DC, 20003.
Copyright 1998 - 2001 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All