|3/19. Opponents of the Children's Internet
Protection Act (CIPA) will file a complaint in the U.S.
District Court (EDPa)
challenging the constitutionality of the Act. The Act requires
schools and libraries that receive e-rate subsidies to use
filtering technology on Internet access computers used by
|3/6. A WIPO
Arbitration and Mediation Center panel issued its decision
in Ingram Micro Inc v. Noton Inc. The petitioner, Ingram Micro, a large
wholesale provider of technology products and services, has
registered the trademark "Ingram Micro". The
respondent is a company that deals in domain names. It
registered several misspellings of Ingram Micro --
ingramicro.com, ingrammirco.com, and ingrimmicro.com. The
respondent did not answer the complaint. The panel found that
the domain names are confusingly similar to Ingram Micro's
trademark, that respondent has no rights or legitimate
interests in respect of the domain names, and that it
registered them in bad faith. The panel ordered the domains
transferred to Ingram Micro.
3/4. A WIPO
Arbitration and Mediation Center panel issued its decision
in AOL v. Miao-qua Wang. The petitioner, AOL, the online
giant, has registered trademarks in aol.com. The respondent is
an individual residing in Beijing who registered the domain
aolbuys.com in August of 2000. He operates an online business.
He asserted that aolbuys could mean "agent on line
buys". Alternatively, he suggested that it could mean the
Province of Anhui online. The one judge panel noted that Anhui
is 800 kilometers from respondent's residence. The panel found
that the aolbuys.com is confusingly similar to AOL's
trademarks, that respondent has no rights or legitimate
interests in respect of the domain name, and that he
registered it in bad faith. The panel ordered the domain
transferred to AOL.
|3/19. WTO Director General
Mike Moore gave a speech
in London on trade and poverty in less developed countries in
which he again argued that "we need to launch a new WTO
round this year." He also stated that "As well as
the in-built agenda of agriculture and services, the new round
must have implementation issues at its heart. And it should
also encompass industrial tariffs, anti-dumping, and other
issues that are important to developing countries."
3/19. The USTR published a notice
in the Federal Register requesting comments regarding the Antidumping
Act of 1916. Following complaints by Japan and the EC, WTO
dispute settlement panels, and the WTO Appellate Body, found
that this statute is inconsistent with U.S.'s obligations
under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the
Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994.
Comments should be submitted by April 16, 2001. See, Federal
Register, March 19, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 53, at Pages 15517 -
in Arsberry v. Illinois re antitrust and phone competition,
3/19 (HTML, USCA).
in Southwestern Bell v. El Paso re 11th Amendment, 3/19 (HTML,
suspending ATT's deadline to comply with cable caps order,
3/16 (HTML, FCC).
re AT&T order, 3/16 (HTML, FCC).
re AT&T order, 3/16 (HTML, FCC).
re patent law harmonization, 3/19 (TXT, FedReg).
anti-dumping, 3/19 (TXT, FedReg).
re ESIGN, 3/19 (TXT, FedReg).
re privacy, 3/19 (TXT, FedReg).
re new WTO round, 3/19 (HTML, WTO).
|3/14. The ICANN
published in its web site copies of resolutions
adopted at its Melbourne meeting.
3/12. The Telecom.
Industry Association (TIA) selected eleven new board
members at its winter meeting: Howard Bubb (Intel), William
Eversole (Texas Instruments), Fred McDuffee (Sumitomo Electric
Lightwave), Ralph Hayon (Congruency), Chris Younger (Expanents),
Stan Blau (PS Capital), Bob Panoff (RPM), A.R. Forcke (IBM),
Fred Yentz (RadiSys), Sandy Lyons (Corning Cable Systems), and
Dave Owen (Alcatel). See, release.
|3/19. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (7thCir) issued its opinion
v. Illinois, a antitrust case regarding phone
Posner wrote the opinion, in which Easterbrook and Evans
joined. The plaintiffs, who are prison inmates and their
families, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (NDIll)
against phone companies and the state agencies and officials
alleging violation of the Sherman Act, the First Amendment,
other Constitutional provisions, and Illinois state law. The
suit challenges the practice by which each prison and jail
grant one phone company the exclusive right to provide
telephone service to the inmates in return for 50% of the
revenues generated by the service. The district court
dismissed the suit as beyond its jurisdiction by reason of the
filed-rate and primary- jurisdiction doctrines.
The appeals court modified and affirmed. It analyzed the two
jurisdictional issues, and held that it was incorrect to
dismiss on jurisdictional grounds. However, it affirmed on the
merits. Posner wrote that "the plaintiffs' real argument
has nothing to do with any horizontal conspiracy; it is rather
that a monopolist, namely the State of Illinois (and its
subdivisions), exercising as it does an iron control over
access to the inmate market, has rented pieces of the market
to different phone companies, in much the same way that an
airport will charge a high fee to concessionaires eager to
sell to the captive market represented by the airline
passengers who perforce spend time in the airport. ... The
concessionaires will pass on much of the fee to their
customers, who will thus pay a higher than competitive price.
States and other public agencies do not violate the antitrust
laws by charging fees or taxes that exploit the monopoly of
force that is the definition of government."
|3/19. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (5thCir) issued its opinion
Bell v. El Paso, an 11th Amendment case.
Southwestern Bell, a telecommunications services provider,
filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (WDTex)
against the City of El Paso and El Paso Water Improvement
District (EPWIP), alleging violation of the Telecom Act of
1996, the Texas Public Utilities Regulation Act, and other
state law, for requiring that Southwestern Bell pay money and
file detailed applications in order to lay phone lines that
cross its rights of way (i.e., ditches). EPWIP moved to
dismiss on 11th
Amendment grounds. The District Court denied the
motion, on the grounds that the EPWIP is not an arm of the
state. The Appeals Court affirmed.
|3/19. The USPTO published
in the Federal Register requesting comments on "the
international effort to harmonize substantive requirements of patent
laws, and the subsequent changes to United States law and
practice." Comments on any topic may be submitted.
However, the notice enumerates 17 topics, including the first
to invent versus the first to file systems of priority, and
what may be considered patentable subject matter in light of
the State Street decision. Comments must be submitted no later
than April 30, 2001. See, Federal Register, March 19, 2001,
Vol. 66, No. 53, at Pages 15409 - 15411.
|CFTC & Privacy
|3/19. The Commodities Futures
Trades Commission published a notice
in the Federal Register requesting comments on proposed privacy
rules pursuant to the Gramm Leach Bliley Act.
Comments must be received by April 18, 2001. See, Federal
Register, March 19, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 53, Pages 15549 -
15576. See also, CFTC
|SEC & ESIGN
|3/19. The SEC published
in the Federal Register requesting comments on proposed
amendments to revise rules under the Investment Company Act of
1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 that permit
registered investment companies and registered investment
advisers to preserve required records using electronic storage
media such as magnetic disks, tape, and other digital storage
media, pursuant to the ESIGN
Act. Comments must be received on or before
April 19, 2001. See, Federal Register, March 19, 2001, Vol.
66, No. 53, at Pages 15369 - 15373.
|3/16. The FCC issued an order
suspending its May 19 deadline for AT&T to divest cable
television assets to comply with its cable ownership caps.
This deadline had been set by the FCC's June 6, 2000, order
approving the merger of AT&T and MediaOne. This action is
a consequence of the U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) March 2 opinion
Warner Entertainment v. FCC overturning the FCC's
cable ownership caps on First Amendment grounds. FCC Chairman
Michael Powell issued a statement
in which he said that "Our action should not be read as
eliminating the condition, but only as suspending the
established benchmarks for compliance pending further
consideration." See also, Ness
statement, and Tristani
3/19. Monday, March 19, was the deadline to submit initial
comments to the FCC in response
to its Notice
of Inquiry [PDF] regarding "Interactive Television
Services Over Cable." The FCC received comments that
it should not be involved in this matter. For example, the Progress & Freedom Foundation
submitted a comment
[PDF] in which it stated that "the Commission should
terminate this inquiry and await further marketplace
developments. ... In today's rapidly changing technological
marketplace environment, however, even the launching of
regulatory inquiries can do more harm than good."
Similarly, TiVo submitted a
in which it stated that "the NOI is perhaps ahead of its
time as many fundamental questions are still being asked,
including who are ITV providers, how will ITV services be
delivered, what are the business models, as so forth.
Generally, when such basic questions are being asked, it is
far too early for the Commission to entertain imposing
regulation." In contrast, Gemstar-TV Guide submitted a comment
in which it asked the FCC "to adopt a general principle
of nondiscrimination." Reply comments are due by April
20, 2001. (CS Docket No. 01-7.)
|10:30 AM. The ACLU, the American Library Association,
and others will hold a press conference to announce the filing
of a complaint in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, challenging the constitutionality of the Children's
Internet Protection Act. Location: ACLU, 125 Broad Street,
17th floor, New York City.
11:00 AM. The Cato Institute
will host a panel discussion titled Should the Government
Regulate Online Privacy. The panelists will be John
Palafoutas (American Electronics Association), Mark Unacapher
(Information Technology Association of America), and James
Harper (PolicyCouncil.com and Privacilla.org). Lunch will
follow. See, online registration
page. Location: Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave NW,
1:00 PM. Sponsors and supporters of the Children's Internet
Protection Act will hold a press conference regarding the
filing of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the
Act. The scheduled participants include Rep. Ernest Istook
(R-OK), Rep. Chip
Pickering (R-MS), Jan LaRue (Family
Research Council), Jay Sekulow (American Center for Law and
Justice), Patrick Trueman (American Family Association),
Wendy Wright (Concerned Women
for America), Donna Hughes, Bruce Taylor (National Law
Center for Children and Families), Robin Johnson (parent of a
second grader exposed to pormography on his school computer),
Laura Morgan (librarian). Location: Room 1334, Longworth
2:30 PM. The Senate
Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the U.S.
Jordan Free Trade Agreement. The witnesses will be
Charlene Barshefsky (Clinton USTR), Samuel Berger (Clinton
National Security Advisor), Michael Smith (former Deputy USTR),
Timothy Deal (U.S. Council for Int. Business), Jagdish
Bhagwati (Columbia Univ.), Thomas Donohue (U.S. Chamber of
Commerce), Rodger Schlickeisen (Defenders of Wildlife), John
Sweeney (AFL-CIO). Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.
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