Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Feb. 5, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 116.
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Microsoft Appeal
2/2. Microsoft and the DOJ and state AGs filed a Joint Proposal for the Format of Oral Argument with the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir). The parties agreed that each side should be allowed 45 minutes to argue the tying issue, and another 45 minutes to argue the monopoly maintenance issue, on Feb. 26. They also agreed that each side should be allowed 15 minutes to argue the attempted monopolization issue, and 30 minutes to argue the remedies issue, on Feb. 27. Finally, they agree that issues regarding the conduct of trial, and judicial improprieties by Judge Jackson, should be considered on written submissions. Richard Urowsky and Steven Holley will argue for Microsoft. Jeffrey Minear, John Roberts, and David Frederick will argue for the governments. See also, PDF copy.
Register.com & Verio
2/2. The ICANN published another advisory regarding the litigation between Register.com (RCOM) and Verio that is pending in the U.S. District Court (SDNY), and Verio's complaint filed with the ICANN on Dec. 21, seeking termination of RCOM's accreditation. The advisory summarizes two items recently submitted to the ICANN: RCOM's response to Verio's petition to terminate its accreditation (Jan. 26), and VeriSign's report on its investigation (Jan. 30). Background: On Dec. 8 the Court granted RCOM's motion for a preliminary injunction against Verio enjoining it from accessing RCOM's Whois database to target its customers with unsolicited commercial e-mail, direct mail and telemarketing activity. RCOM, based in New York City, provides domain name registration services. See, RCOM release. Verio, based in Englewood Colorado, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications. It provides a web hosting, high speed Internet access, VPNs, and e-commerce products. On Dec. 21 it submitted to ICANN a Petition that requests that ICANN terminate its accreditation agreement with RCOM.
New TLJ Stories
5th Circuits Affirms Judgment of Internet Copyright Infringement. The U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, issued its opinion in Veeck v. SBCCI upholding the District Court's judgment of copyright infringement. The defendant published in his web site copies of copyrighted model building codes that had been incorporated into law by reference. The Appeals Court, following both precedent and policy arguments, held that a copyrighted work does not lose it protection when adopted into law. One judge dissented.
New Documents
USCA: Opinion in Veeck v. SBCCI re copyright, 2/2 (HTML, USCA).
MSFT/DOJ: Joint Proposal for Format of Oral Argument, 2/2 (PDF, USCA).
VeriSign: report to ICANN, 1/30 (HTML, ICANN).
RCOM: response to Verio's petition to terminate its accreditation, 1/26 (HTML, ICANN).
USTR: notice and request for comments pertaining to the WTO dispute settlement proceeding re TRIPs, 2/2 (HTML, TLJ).
USCA: opinion in WorldCom v. FCC re FCC's Pricing Flexibility Order, 2/2 (HTML, USCA).
USCA: opinion in ICOM Holdings v. MCI Worldcom, 2/1 (HTML, USCA).
Milberg: complaint against Critical Path; see also, other class action firms' complaint, complaint, complaint, and complaint, 2/2.
New and Updated Sections
Recently Introduced Bills (new).
Calendar (many additions).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
Intellectual Property
2/2. The U.S. Court of Appeals (5thCir) issued its opinion in Veeck v. SBCCI, an Internet copyright infringement case. Veeck published in his web site copyrighted model building codes written by SBBCI that had been incorporated into law by reference by various local governments. The Appeals Court, following both precedent and policy arguments, held that a copyrighted work does not lose it protection when adopted into law. Judge Weiner wrote for the three judge panel; Stewart joined. USDC Judge White wrote a lengthy dissent. See, TLJ story.
2/2. The USTR published in the Federal Register a notice and request for comments pertaining to the WTO dispute settlement proceeding regarding  110(5)(B) of the U.S. Copyright Act. A WTO Dispute Settle Body has found the statute is inconsistent with U.S. treaty obligations under the TRIPs Agreement. Comments are due by Feb. 26, 2001.
Critical Path Lawsuits
2/2. The NASDAQ halted trading in the stock of Critical Path, a California corporation, based in San Francisco, that provides Internet messaging infrastructure. The company's stock price has plummeted from a high of over $119 in March 2000 to just over $10. Reuters reported that Critical Path "is probing its accounting practices and has put its president on leave." Now, a flock of class action securities lawyers has descended.
2/2. Two individuals named Bill Reynolds and David Miller filed a complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Critical Path and two of its officers, William Rinehart and David Thatcher, alleging violation of federal securities laws. The Plaintiffs, who are represented by the law firm of Milberg Weiss and other firms, seek class action status. The single count complaint alleges violation of 10b of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Milberg Weiss is a law firm that specializes in bring securities class action suits against technology companies when their stock prices drop. See also, MW release.
2/2. An individual named Fred Kessler filed a complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Critical Path, David Thatcher and William Rinehart, alleging violation of federal securities laws. The plaintiff, who seeks class action status, is represented by the law firm of Shalov Stone & Bonner. He too alleges 10b and 10b-5 violations.
2/2. More firms rushed to file complaints. See:
  complaint filed by Weiss & Yourman, which in addition names CEO Douglas Hickey and Chairman David Hayden as defendants, and adds a 20 claim.
  complaint filed by Wolf Haldenstein, which in addition names PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a defendant.
  complaint [PDF] filed by Berman DeValerio & Pease, which also names CFO Mark Rubash. It alleges violations of 10b, 10b-5 and 20.
Razorfish Class Action
1/30. An individual filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Razorfish, Inc. and five of its officers and directors alleging violation of federal securities laws. The plaintiff, who is represented by the law firm of Cohen Millstein, seeks class action status. The complaint alleges violation of 10b of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and 20 of the 1934 Act. Razorfish's Form 10-Q (Nov. 13, 2000) states that it provides "business solutions that use digital technologies to enhance communications and commerce between businesses and their consumers, suppliers, employees, and other partners". Cohen Millstein is a law firm that specializes in bringing class action law suits. See also, CM release.
More News
1/31. The SEC filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against David Bonrouhi alleging illegal insider trading of the stock of IWL Communications, Inc. The SEC seeks an injunction against future acts of securities fraud, disgorgement of the trading losses that he illegally avoided, and a civil penalty of an equal amount. See, SEC release.
1/29. The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) published another issue of its CyberNotes [19 pages in PDF], a biweekly summary of critical infrastructure threats.
Quote of the Day
"By its very nature, an enacted law enters the public realm as a concrete, definite fact/idea. There is only one accurate way to express a law. ... it is antithetical to our nation's concept of public participation for a private entity to monopolize the public laws. ... Congress could not have intended for a private organization to be given the exclusive right to control others' ability to copy and distribute an enacted law."

USDC Judge F.A. Little, from his dissent in Veeck v. SBCCI, Feb. 2.
People
1/30. Matthew Yarbrough joined the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson (FR), a national law firm focusing on complex litigation, intellectual property and technology law. He was briefly an associate at Vinson & Elkins. Before that he was an AUSA for the Northern District of Texas, where he directed the Cyber Crimes Task Force. He prosecuted cases concerning computer and telecom fraud and intellectual property crimes. He was one of the attorneys who prosecuted the Global Hell hacker gang, which defaced dozens of web sites, including WhiteHouse.gov. He will be in charge of FR's newly created Cyber Law Group. See, FR release.
2/1. Charles Nathan is joining Latham & Watkins as a partner in its New York office. He will head the New York mergers and acquisitions group. He was formerly Managing Director of Smith Barney, and partner at Fried Frank. See, release.
1/31. Townsend Townsend & Crew announced that two former Limbach & Limbach attorneys have joined its electronics and software practice group. Mayumi Maeda will be an associate in the San Francisco office and Charles Hamilton will be an associate in the Palo Alto office. See, release.
1/26. Cooley Godward announced changes to its management. Janet Cullum, who currently heads the Intellectual Property Litigation Group, will become Litigation Department Chair. Lee Benton will resign as Managing Partner, effective Feb. 9. Stephen Neal, the current Litigation Department Chair, will become Chairman and CEO, and Mark Pitchford will become COO. See, release.
1/11. Charles Rule joined Fried Frank as the lead antitrust partner in its Washington DC office. He was Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division during the administration of George Bush Sr. He was then head of the antitrust department at Covington & Burling. He has also counseled Microsoft in the government's antitrust case. See, release.
Telecom Rulings
2/2. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion in WorldCom v. FCC. WorldCom, AT&T, Time Warner Telecom, and other long distance providers sought review of the FCC's Pricing Flexibility Order, which grants local exchange carriers (LECs) immediate pricing flexibility for some interstate access services and establishes procedures through which LECs may seek substantial additional relief from existing price cap regulation. LECs intervened in support of the FCC. The Court upheld the FCC order.
2/1. The U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) issued its opinion in ICOM Holdings v. MCI Worldcom. The Court affirmed the District Court's dismissal of ICOM's complaint. It held that state-law breach of contract claims premised on the defendant's failure to install high speed telecom circuits for the purpose of providing the plaintiff with local access telecommunication service are preempted by the federal Communications Act and barred by the filed-rate doctrine.
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