Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Jan. 31, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 113.
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Confirmation News
1/30. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of John Ashcroft to be Attorney General by a vote of 10 to 8. The full Senate could vote as early as Thursday.
1/30. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Robert Zoellick to be U.S. Trade Representative. Senators expressed their support for his nomination. Zoellick advocated granting fast track trade authority for the President.
TLJ Story
USTR Nominee Zoellick Headed for Quick Confirmation. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Robert Zoellick to be the next U.S. Trade Representative. Senators praised Zoellick. He advocated granting fast track trade negotiating authority to the President. High tech and IPR issues were hardly touched.
New Documents
AEA: report on high tech agenda, 1/30 (PDF, AEA).
USCA: opinion in California Pools case re trademark, 1/30 (HTML, USCA).
Securities
1/29. The SEC filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Keith Kim, Douglas Park, and William Park for insider trading. Kim and Douglas Park are both officers of Brainrush, Inc., an Oakland-based venture capital firm. William Park is Douglas Park's brother. They traded in shares of Meridian Data, Inc., based upon insider information that Meridian and Quantum Corp. were in merger negotiations. The SEC seeks disgorgement of profits totaling at least $1,453,301, penalties, and prejudgment interest. See, SEC release. On Jan. 26 the U.S. Attorney's Office (NDCal) and the FBI filed a criminal complaint and supporting affidavit [PDF] in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Keith Joon Kim.
Quote of the Day
"To strengthen and speed America's trade and economic policy, we will need to reestablish the bipartisan Congressional Executive negotiating partnership that has delivered so much. Therefore, if confirmed, I will promptly follow up with this Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee to consider how to reestablish trade promotion authority for the President, based on the fast track precedent and the broadest possible support."

Robert Zoellick, USTR nominee, at his confirmation hearing on Jan. 30.
Spyware Bill
1/29. Sen. John Edwards (D-SC) and Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) introduced S 197, the Spyware Control and Privacy Protection Act. The bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, of which Sen. Hollings is the ranking Democrat. Sen. Edwards stated, upon introducing the bill, that "spyware is present in four hundred software programs, including commonly used software such as RealNetworks RealDownload, Netscape/AOL Smart Download, and NetZip Download Demon. Spyware in these software programs can transmit information about every file you download from the Internet. ... It incorporates all four fair information practices of notice, choice, access and security practices that I believe are essential to effective computer privacy legislation." He added that "the Act requires that any software that contains spyware must provide consumers with clear and conspicuous notice--at the time the software is installed--that the software contains spyware. The notice must also describe the information that the spyware will collect and indicate to whom it will be transmitted. Another critical provision of my bill requires that software users must first give their affirmative consent before the spyware is enabled ... In other words, software users must "opt-in" ..." See also, Sen. Edwards' release.
More News
1/30. The American Electronics Association released a report outlining its proposals for government action affecting high tech. The report advocates the following:
  upgrade science and math education at the K-12 level,
  continue with industry self-regulation of privacy practices,
  pass an extension of the moratorium on  new or discriminatory taxes on the Internet, permanently ban access taxes, and direct the states to simplify their sales tax rules,
  enact a permanent R&D tax credit,
  simplify tax rules governing all stock option programs, including ESPPs,
  bar the IRS from mandating withholding taxes on qualified stock option plans,
  pass the Export Administration Act,
  pass fast track trade negotiating authority, and
  forbear from regulating those sectors of the broadband market that are being served by multiple providers. See also, AEA release.
1/30. The FTC and Electronic Retailing Association hosted a one day seminar for Internet retailers, marketers and suppliers on applying offline rules and regulations online.
1/30. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee held a meeting on beginning preparations for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003.
1/30. The Import Administration, of the International Trade Administration, of the Department of Commerce, extended the time limit for its completion of the preliminary results of its review of its antidumping dumping duty administrative review regarding DRAMs from Korea until May 30, 2001. See, notice in Federal Register, Jan. 30, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 20, at Page 8198.
1/30. The FTC made final its consent order regarding Computer Sciences Corp.'s (CSC) acquisition of Mynd Corporation. On Dec. 20, 2000, the FTC approved CSC's acquisition of Mynd, subject to the condition that CSC divest Mynd's claims assessment system, known as Claims Outcome Advisor, to Insurance Services Office, Inc. To put this into effect, the FTC filed an administrative complaint [PDF] against CSC and Mynd. The parties also simultaneously filed an Agreement and Decision and Order [PDF]. See also, FTC release and FTC Analysis [PDF] from Dec. 20, 2000.
Today
1:00 PM. The House Commerce Committee will hold its organizational meeting for the 107th Congress. The agenda includes adoption of the committee rules, subcommittee jurisdictions, and subcommittee ratios, and the appointment of committee and subcommittee Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, and members. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn House Office Building.
2:00 - 4:00 PM. The NTIA will host a public meeting to discuss the results of tests conducted by the agency to develop practical methods for characterizing the very narrow pulses of ultrawideband (UWB) systems and to assess the compatibility between UWB devices and selected federal radio communications or sensing systems. See, notice. Location: U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 1605, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC.
Intellectual Property
1/30. USPTO extended the deadline to submit a Request for Agreement for the USPTO Electronic Filing Partnership to May 1, 2001.
1/30. The U.S. District Court (5thCir) issued its opinion in California Pools v. California Pools, a trademark infringement case.
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