|House Passes Bills
|3/14. The House passed HR
741, the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act,
sponsored by Rep. Howard
Coble (R-NC), by voice vote. On June 27, 1989, at a
Diplomatic Conference in Madrid, Spain, the parties to the
Madrid Agreement signed the Madrid Protocol, which provides
for an international registration system for trademarks. HR
741 represents implementing legislation for the Protocol. It
is identical to measures introduced in the previous four
3/14. The House passed S
320, the Intellectual Property and High Technology
Technical Amendments Act of 2001, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
by voice vote. The Senate passed the bill on February 14.
3/14. The House passed HR
809, the Antitrust Technical Corrections Act of 2001,
sponsored by Rep.
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) by voice vote.
|Chertoff to Head Criminal
|3/13. President Bush announced his intention to nominate Michael
Chertoff to be Assistant Attorney General for the
Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. Chertoff is a
partner in the Newark, New Jersey, office of the law firm of Latham & Watkins. See, DOJ
release and White
House release. In 1995 and 1996, he served as the Special
Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee conducting the Whitewater
Investigation. He has also held many federal prosecutorial
positions. The Computer
Crimes and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) is a part
of the Criminal Division.
announced the responses to its bounty offer for prior art
challenging Amazon.com's U.S.
Patent No. 5,960,411, a method and system for placing a
purchase order via a communications network. While BountQuest
has not paid out on its bounty offer, it stated that it
"received 30 submissions for the 1-Click posting,
including evidence that was not discovered by the USPTO or by
the litigants in the Amazon v. Barnes & Noble case ... it
should make it far more difficult for Amazon to enforce its
exclusive right to 1-Click ordering." BountyQuest is a
web based business that represents companies in offering
rewards for prior art that can be used to challenge the
validity of patents.
3/14. The USPTO announced
that it has scheduled a series of education workshops to
introduce the agency's patent-related electronic government
initiatives and to explain rules and regulations implementing
recent changes to patent law. The schedule is: Denver, CO
(April 2-3, 2001), Stillwater, OK (April 5-6), Grand Rapids,
IA (May 14-15) and Troy, MI (May 17-18). See, release.
515, the Private Sector Research and Development
Investment Act, 3/13 (HTML, LOC).
512, Internet Tax Moratorium and Equity Act, 3/9 (HTML,
|Quote of the Day
|"There is nothing magical about strapping ourselves
into a car, driving sometimes up to an hour and a half to an
office, only to sit in front of a computer terminal. Much of
the information we access on our computer at work we can
access at home in our living rooms."
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), on introducing a bill to
provide a $500 tax credit for setting up a home office for
teleworking, March 13.
|3/13. By Sen. Rick
Santorum (R-PA) introduced S 521, the Telework Tax
Incentive Act, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 to allow a credit against income tax for expenses
incurred in teleworking. Rep.
Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced a companion bill in the
House. Sen. Santorum and Rep. Wolf also introduced
substantially identical bills in the 106th Congress (S
2431 and HR
3819). The bill would provide a $500 tax credit for
expenses paid or incurred under a teleworking arrangement for
furnishings and electronic information equipment which are
used to enable an individual to telework. An employee must
telework a minimum of 75 days per year to qualify. Both the
employer and employee are eligible for the tax credit; the tax
credit is available to the party who pays the expense for
setting up the at-home worksite. The bills were referred to
the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means
Committee. See, Wolf
3/13. Sen. John Kerry
(D-MA) introduced S 522, the Small Business Telecommuting Act,
a bill to direct the Administrator of the Small Business Administration
to conduct a pilot program to raise awareness about
telecommuting among small business employers, and to encourage
such employers to offer telecommuting options to employees.
The bill was referred to the Small Business Committee.
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Tom Daschle, Max Cleland,
and Paul Wellstone.
|R&D Tax Credit
|3/12. Sen. Pete
Domenici (R-NM) introduced S
515, the Private Sector Research and Development
Investment Act of 2001, a bill to make permanent the research
and development tax credit, change the formula of the
credit, and to extend the credit to certain collaborative
research consortia. Rep.
Heather Wilson (R-NM) announced that she would introduce a
companion bill in the House. See, Wilson
release. Sen. Domenici and Rep. Wilson introduced similar
legislation in the 106th Congress (S 951 and HR 1682).
|3/14. The FCC announced
the appointment of Linda Kinney as Acting Associate
General Counsel of the FCC.
3/13. President Bush formally nominated Ted Olson to be
Solicitor General. See, release.
However, the White House announced that Olson would be
nominated long ago. See, TLJ
Alert No. 112, Jan. 30, 2001, for background of Olson.
|GAO Report on Government
Use of IT
|3/14. The GAO
issued a report
[39 pages in PDF] on the use of information technology by
regulatory agencies in regulatory management, including
rulemaking, compliance assistance, information collection and
dissemination, and regulatory enforcement. The report
concluded that "innovative IT-based approaches to
regulatory management have the potential to increase the
amount and quality of public participation in rulemaking,
increase regulatory transparency, reduce burden on regulated
entities and help them understand their responsibilities, save
regulatory agencies money, and improve the quality of
agencies regulatory programs." However,
"Officials in federal regulatory agencies were sometimes
unaware of the innovative uses of IT to improve regulatory
management in other agencies, and sometimes in other parts of
their own agencies. As a result, federal agencies may either
not adopt innovative approaches that could be useful to them
or reinvent the wheel as they develop their own approaches in
those areas." The report was written at the request of Sen. Fred Thompson
(R-TN) and Sen. Joe
Lieberman (D-CT), the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the
Senate Government Affairs Committee.
|3/13. By Rep. Ronnie
Shows (D-MS) introduced HR 1005, a bill to amend the
Communications Act of 1934 to require that violent video
programming be limited to broadcast after the hours when
children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial
portion of the audience, unless it is specifically rated on
the basis of its violent content so that it is blockable by
electronic means. The bill was referred to the House Commerce Committee.
|9:30 AM. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will hold
a hearing on high performance computer export controls.
Room 342, Dirksen Building.
9:30 AM. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in NextWave Personal
Communications v. FCC, Appeal No. 00-1402. Judges Sentelle,
Tatel and Garland will preside.
9:30 AM. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Global Crossing v.
FCC, Appeal No. 00-1204. Judges Sentelle, Tatel and Garland
9:30 AM. The Federal Election
Commission will hold a meeting. The agenda includes
approval of an advisory opinion for pac.com. See, Request for
Advisory Opinion, Supplement 1
10:00 AM. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications
and the Internet will hold a hearing titled Digital
Television: A Private Sector Perspective on the Transition.
Room 2123, Rayburn Building. The witnesses will be:
Martin Franks (CBS/Viacom Television)
David Arland (Thomson Multimedia / CEA)
Lowell Paxson (Paxson Communications)
Steve Weed (Millenium Digital Media / ACA)
Beth Courtney (Louisiana Public Broadcasting)
Ben Tucker (Fisher Broadcasting / NAB)
Michael Willner (Insight Communications / NCTA)
Ronald Parrish (RadioShack)
Chris Cookson (Warner Bros.)
10:00 AM. The Senate
Banking Committee will meet to mark up of S
149, The Export Administration Act of 2001. Room
538, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The House
Education and Workforce Committee's Subcommittee on 21st
Century Competitiveness will hold a hearing titled
"Improving Student Achievement Through Technology."
Room 2175, Rayburn Building.
11:00 AM. Sen. Joe
Lieberman (D-CT), Rep.
Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), and Robert Atkinson (Progressive Policy Institute)
will hold a press conference on The Future of Global
E-Commerce and Trade. Room SC-4, U.S. Capitol.
12:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's Young Lawyers Committee
will host a brown bag lunch Media Coverage of the
Communications Industry. The speaker will be Seth
Schiesel of the New York Times. Location: Hogan & Hartson, 555 13th
St., 13th floor, West Tower, Washington DC.
3:30 PM. FTC Commissioner Thomas Leary will participate
in a panel discussion titled Politics, Personalization and
Privacy: Can Web Content and E-Business Survive the Public
Policy Storm? Location: Georgetown University Law Center,
Moot Courtroom, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington DC.
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