Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Feb. 27, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 132.
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Patents
2/26. The Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in both Semiconductor Energy Laboratory v. Samsung Electronics (00-127) and Samsung Electronics v. Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (00-138). See, Order List [PDF], at page 3.
Domain Name Disputes
2/22. A WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center panel issued its opinion in Vertical Computer Systems. v. Registrant of pointmail.com, rejecting VCS's request to have the domain name transferred to it.
2/15. A WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center panel issued its opinion in AOL v. Eremeev, a dispute over registration of the domain name icqplus.org. AOL, which holds numerous trademark registrations worldwide for the mark ICQ, sought to have the domain name transferred to it. Eremeev uses this domain name for a web site that distributes a free software product that supplements ICQ service. The panel found that the icqplus.org domain name is confusingly similar to AOL's mark. However, the panel denied AOL's request on the grounds that AOL did not prove that Eremeev had no legitimate interest in the name, and did not prove that the name had been registered in bad faith.
ICANN
2/26. The ICANN published a notice in its web site that "one of the topics to be discussed at the ICANN public forum on 12 March 2001 in Melbourne is agreements between ICANN and the selected sponsors or operators of the new, proof-of-concept TLDs."
New Documents
USCA: opinion in Conboy v. AT&T re electronic privacy, 2/26 (HTML, USCA).
NTIA: notice requesting comments re E-SIGN Act, 2/26 (HTML, NTIA).
WIPO: opinion in AOL v. Eremeev, 2/15 (HTML, WIPO).
WIPO: opinion in VCS v. Registrant of pointmail.com, 2/21 (HTML, WIPO).
Quote of the Day
"We are asked to decide whether plaintiffs have stated a cause of action against their long-distance service provider and its once-affiliated credit card company for allegedly transmitting and using certain information contained in plaintiffs' long-distance bill for purposes of collecting credit card debt. ... the United States District Court ... dismissed plaintiffs' entire amended complaint. ... we affirm ... plaintiffs got what they paid for, namely, long distance service."

U.S. Court of Appeals, opinion in Conboy v. AT&T, Feb. 26.
Electronic Privacy
2/26. The U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir) issued its opinion in Conboy v. AT&T, a case regarding the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and electronic privacy. The Appeals Court affirmed the District Court's decision dismissing the plaintiffs' complaint. The plaintiffs, Edward and Eileen Conboy, filed a class action complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) alleging that AT&T improperly disseminated personal information about them to AT&T Universal Card Services (UCS) to help UCS collect credit card debt, in violation of  222 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, FCC regulations thereunder, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and New York State law. Plaintiffs were neither the debtors, nor guarantors of the debt: their daughter is law was the debtor. Nevertheless, AT&T gave UCS their unlisted phone number. UCS made between 30 and 50 harassing phone calls to them, some at unusual hours. The District Court dismissed the entire complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Appeals Court affirmed. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals.
Electronic Signatures
2/26. The NTIA released a copy of a notice to be published in the Federal Register requesting comments on Section 105(a) of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act. Section 105(a) of the E-SIGN Act directs the Secretary of Commerce to prepare a study comparing the effectiveness of electronic mail in the delivery of electronic records with the effectiveness of traditional methods of document delivery, such as mail and express delivery services, and to report the findings of the study to Congress no later than June 30, 2001. Comments will be due within 30 of publication in the Federal Register. See also, NTIA release.
Qualcomm Settles
2/26. Qualcomm announced that it has settled one class action suit brought by former employees arising out of the sale of Qualcomm's infrastructure division to Ericsson. Qualcomm settled the suit filed San Diego County Superior Court filed by the law firm of Milberg Weiss. Qualcomm stated that "Under the terms of the settlement, $11 million (minus attorneys' fees and costs), which is being contributed by third parties, will be distributed to the more than 800 former employees in the class." The Court has yet to approve the agreement. Qualcomm develops wireless telecommunications technologies, including CDMA. See, Qualcomm release.
More News
2/26. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) held the first of two days of oral arguments in U.S. v. Microsoft. Arguments continue on Feb. 27 at 9:30 AM.
2/26. eToys.com announced that it intends to file for bankruptcy protection.
2/26. President Bush nominated Mark Weinberger to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. See, release.
2/26. Feb. 26 was the deadline to file comments with the USTR 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. See, notice and request for comments in the Federal Register.
Today
9:30 AM. Second day of oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals, En Banc, in U.S. v. Microsoft. Location: Ceremonial Courtroom, federal courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave., Washington DC.
10:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 4: Fixed Service/Fixed-Satellite Service Sharing will hold a meeting. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, 7th Floor, Room 7-B516, Washington DC. See, notice of meeting.
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Washington DC Bar Association and the Federal Communications Bar Association a luncheon. FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth will speak on "Ex Parte Contacts: How Can Agencies Achieve Neutrality and Transparency?" The price is $15 - $25. But, bring your own lunch. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, Level B-1, 1250 H Street, NW, Washington DC.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's Mass Media Committee will host a Brown Bag Luncheon. The speaker will be Linda Blair, Chief, Mass Media Bureau's Audio Services Division. Location: FCC, 445 12th St., SW, First Floor South Conference Room.
2:00 - 4:00 PM. The FCC's Network Reliability and Interoperability Council will hold a meeting. See, notice in Federal Register. See, agenda.
2:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled an executive business meeting to mark up bankruptcy reform legislation. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Senate Office Building.
9:00 PM. The House and Senate will meet in joint session to hear an address from President Bush.
FTC Names AOL-TW Trustee
2/26. The FTC appointed Dale Hatfield to be its monitor trustee in its AOL Time Warner merger proceeding. Until the end of last year Hatfield was the Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology. See, FTC release and FTC letter [PDF] to AOL and Time Warner.
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