Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
March 1, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 134.
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AOL v. AT&T
2/28. The U.S. Court of Appeals (4th Cir) issued its opinion in AOL v. AT&T, a trademark case. Both AOL and AT&T provide e-mail services to their customers. AOL has been using, for varying lengths of time, the words "YOU HAVE MAIL", "YOU'VE GOT MAIL", "BUDDY LIST", and "I M". In Dec. of 1998, AT&T began using these same words in connection with its e-mail service. AOL filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (EDVa) alleging various trademark and unfair trade competition claims. The District Court granted summary judgment to AT&T. See, memorandum. The Appeals Court held that the question whether "Buddy List" is a valid mark raises disputed issues of material fact and therefore cannot be resolved on summary judgment. It affirmed as to the other claimed marks. See also, TLJ case summary.
More IP Litigation
2/28. Random House filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Rosetta Books alleging copyright infringement for publishing e-books. Rosetta Books is a recently formed, privately held, New York City based company that provides electronic publishing. Random House is an English language general trade book publisher. It is a division of the Bertelsmann Book Group of Bertelsmann AG, a large German media company.
2/28. The USITC voted to institute an investigation of Silicon Integrated Systems' (SIS) integrated circuits, processes for making same, and products containing same, of sizes of 0.25 microns or smaller. United Microelectronics, UMC Group, and United Foundry Service filed a complaint with the USITC on Jan. 26, 2001, alleging violations of  337 in the importation into the U.S. of SIS integrated circuits that infringe patents owned by UMC. See, USITC release and UMC Group release.
2/28. The U.S. Court of Appeals (1stCir) issued its not for publication opinion in Latin American Music Company v. Cardenas Fernandez, a case regarding entitlement to preliminary injunctions in copyright infringement cases.
New Documents
USCA: opinion in AOL v. AT&T re trademarks, 2/28 (HTML, USCA).
Leahy: amendment to bankruptcy reform bill re Toysmart.com case, 2/28 (HTML, TLJ).
Rules: rule for consideration of bankruptcy reform bill by the House, 2/28 (HTML, Rules).
Green: amendment to bankruptcy reform bill re children's privacy, 2/27 (PDF, Rules).
NIST: notice and request for comments re Draft Federal Information Processing Standard for Advanced Encryption Standard, 2/28 (HTML, TLJ).
Quote of the Day
"This case just keeps going and going and going. But the longer it goes on, the less relevant the original grounds for the case become. Just like the antitrust case against IBM slowly faded into irrelevance. ... I hope the Appeals Court recognizes, as I do, that further court proceedings will simply shift minds and money from innovation to litigation."

Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), House Majority Leader, statement regarding U.S. v. Microsoft, Feb. 27.
Bankruptcy & Privacy
2/28. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved S 220, the Senate version of the bankruptcy reform bill, by a vote of 10 to 8. The Committee first approved several amendments, including one offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), known as the Toysmart.com Amendment. This protects personally identifiable information given by a consumer to a business debtor, such as an online retailer, by adding new privacy protections to the Bankruptcy Code and by creating a Consumer Privacy Ombudsman to appear before the bankruptcy court. It provides that "if the debtor has disclosed a policy to an individual prohibiting the transfer of personally identifiable information about the individual to unaffiliated third persons, and the policy remains in effect at the time of the bankruptcy filing, the trustee may not sell or lease such personally identifiable information to any person, unless (A) the sale is consistent with such prohibition; or (B) the court, after notice and hearing and due consideration of the facts, circumstances and conditions of the sale or lease approves the sale or lease."
2/28. The House is scheduled to debate and vote on HR 333, its version of the bankruptcy reform bill, on March 1. On Feb. 28 the House Rules Committee adopted a rule for consideration of the bill. Notably, Rep. Ed Markey's (D-MA) proposed amendment is not in order. It would have required that personal and financial information divulged in a bankruptcy proceeding be disclosed in electronic format only to individuals and entities that have legitimate interests in the case. However, Rep. Mark Green's (R-WI) amendment [PDF] is in order. It would require the removal of the names of children from bankruptcy filings. See, Summary of Amendments Made in Order. See also, HR 333 [huge PDF file] as reported by the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 14.
House Commerce Markup
2/28. The House Commerce Committee approved HR 90, the Know Your Caller Act, by a unanimous voice vote. The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), would make it "unlawful for any person in making any telephone solicitation (A) to interfere with or circumvent the capability of a caller identification service and (B) to fail to provide caller identification information in a manner that is accessible by a caller identification service " The bill gives the FCC rule making authority. It also creates a private right of action. A similar bill passed the House by a vote of 420-0 last year, but did not receive a vote in the Senate.
2/28. The House Commerce Committee amended and approved HR 496. Both an amendment in the nature of a substitute, and the bill as amended, passed by unanimous voice votes. The bill provides regulatory relief to telecommunications carriers that control less than two percent of the subscriber lines in the U.S. A similar bill passed the House late last year, but did not receive a vote in the Senate. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the ranking Democrat on the Telecom Subcommittee, spoke in opposition to the bill. He argued that if that if 2% carriers get regulatory relief, they should also no longer receive "subsidies". He called this "Adam Smith economics."
More News
2/28. The NIST published in the Federal Register a notice and request for comments regarding its Draft Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) for its Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
2/28. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (DNJ) returned indictments against Walter Forbes and Kirk Shelton, two former executives of Cendant, alleging securities fraud in connection with accounting practices. The SEC filed a parallel civil complaint in the same court against the two. Forbes and Shelton were Chairman/CEO and COO, respectively, of CUC International, which merged with HFS to create Cendant. Cendant is a hotel, car rental and real estate franchising company. Its other operations include Jackson Hewitt (tax preparation) and WizCom (an information technology services). See, Cendant release.
2/28. FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth addressed the Competitive Carrier Regulatory Summit 2001.
2/28. The FCBA held a closed meeting on "Legislative Outlook 2001: House Perspective" with staff of the House Commerce Committee.
2/28. The Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) announced that "Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations to implement the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA) are under interagency review."
Today
10:00 AM. The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing on Privacy in the Commercial World. See, list of witnesses. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.   
The House is scheduled to debate and vote on HR 333, the bankruptcy reform bill.
The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Export Admin. will host a one day workshop titled "Essentials of Export Controls Workshop". The price is $100.00, but it has sold out. Location: Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, Washington DC.
9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the transition from analog to digital TV. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 3: Fixed-Satellite Service/Broadcasting Satellite Service will hold a meeting. Location: FCC, 445 12th Street, SW, 6th Floor, Room 6-B516, Washington DC. See, notice of meeting.
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM. The National Venture Capital Association will host an event titled "Mid-Atlantic Entrepreneur/Venture Capital Networking Lunch." The price is $75.00 and registration is required. See, online registration form. Location: Park Hyatt, Washington DC.
1:00 - 4:00 PM. The USPTO will hold a public meeting on computer implemented business method patents. Location: Arlington VA. Also, the patent depository libraries in Sunnyvale, Detroit, and Houston will provide videoconferencing.
1:30 PM. Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, will speak at the Second National Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Summit on the Role of the FTC in Privacy and Data Security. Location: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington DC.
6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a Congressional Reception for members of the House and Senate Commerce Committees. Registration and payment of money is required; see, registration form [PDF]. For more information, contact Heidi Kurtz at heidi@fcba.org. Location: U.S. Capitol, Room SC-5, Washington DC.
People
2/28. The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) named Charles Work to be its General Counsel. He remains a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, and the head of its Regulation and Government Affairs Department.
2/28. The NCTA announced that the appointment of Lois Richerson as Director - Public Affairs - Education. She was previously Director of Government Relations for NCTA. Her job will be "to carry the message of the cable industry's longstanding commitment to education" to the Congress and Bush administration. See, NCTA release.
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