Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
March 26, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 151.
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Universal Service
3/22. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) introduced HR 1171, the Universal Service Support Act, a bill to repeal caps on high-cost universal service support. The bill would amend Section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 by adding a new subsection that would render the FCC's regulations setting caps and limitations on universal service ineffective. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, S 500, on March 8. See also, Burns release of Mar. 9.
More Bills
3/22. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced HR 1160, a bill to terminate operation of the Extremely Low Frequency Communication System of the Navy. The bill was referred to the Armed Services Committee.
3/22. Rep. Ken Lucas (D-KY) introduced HR 1188, a bill to encourage the use of technology in the classroom. The bill was referred to the Education and Workforce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
Securities Class Actions
3/23. A Florence Foster filed a complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (MDFl) against Pinnacle Holdings and three of its officers and directors alleging violation of federal securities laws. Plaintiff, who is represented by the law firm of Milberg Weiss, and others, seeks class action status. Count I alleges violation of  10b of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, by all defendants. Count II alleges violation of  20(a) of the Exchange Act by the individual defendants (controlling person liability). Pinnacle Towers, of Sarasota, Florida, is a provider of tower and rooftop antenna site space for wireless communications. Milberg Weiss is a law firm that specializes in bringing class action securities suits against technology companies when their stock prices drop.
3/23. The Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (SDCal) against Gateway and one of its former officers alleging violation of federal securities laws. Plaintiff, which is represented by the law firm of Berstein Litowitz, seeks class action status. Gateway is a leading producer of desktop PCs, laptops, network servers, and peripherals.
New Documents
Roberts: S 599, re fast track trade negotiating authority, 3/22 (HTML, LibCong).
Deal: HR 1171 re universal service support caps, 3/22 (HTML, LibCong).
Milberg: complaint against Pinnacle, 3/23 (PDF, Milberg).
NIPC: advisory re Lion worm, 3/23 (HTML, NIPC).
NIPC: advisory re theft of VeriSign Microsoft digital certificates, 3/23 (HTML, NIPC).  
IP News
3/23. Cisco announced that it has settled the patent litigation brought against it by Visual Interactive Phone Concepts, Inc., the exclusive licensor to HandTrade. Cisco entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement as part of the settlement. Cisco also stated that the licensed patents cover systems for conducting transactions using video-enabled wired and wireless phones, and that all claims against Cisco have been dismissed. See, Cisco release.
3/21. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Kroll v. Finnerty, an attorney misconduct case that concerns the scope of federal patent jurisdiction. Kroll is an attorney licensed to practice in New York State, and is registered to practice as a patent attorney before the USPTO. The New York Grievance Committee initiated disciplinary action against him in response to grievances filed by three of his clients regarding his prosecution of patents on their behalf. Kroll then filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (EDNY) asserting that federal patent law preempts the disciplinary action. The District Court granted summary judgment to Finnerty, counsel for the grievance committee. Kroll appealed. The Court of appeals agreed that there is no preemption, but also found that the complaint was "absolutely devoid of merit." Hence, it vacated the summary judgment, and remanded with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
3/23. A Jillann Reeves was charged by criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court (WDWash) with criminal copyright infringement, in violation of 18 U.S.C.  2319 and 17 U.S.C.  506(a)(1). Defendant copied of over 2,000 Sony PlayStation, Gameboy, and Nintendo games, and over 140 movies, and sold them over the Internet. See, release.
Computer Crime
3/23. The FBI's NIPC issued an advisory in which it stated that it has "received reports of an Internet worm named 'Lion' that is infecting computers and installing distributed denial of service (DDOS) tools on various computer systems. Illegal activity of this nature typically is designed to create large networks of hosts capable of launching coordinated packet flooding denial of service attacks." The NIPC issues three levels of warnings: assessments, advisories, and alerts. Advisories are of the middle level of importance.
3/23. The FBI's NIPC issued an advisory regarding the warnings issued by Microsoft and VeriSign about the theft of two VeriSign Class 3 Software Publisher digital certificates. The certificates are dated January 29 and 30, 2001. The NIPC stated that "this incident poses a significant security threat because an unauthorized user of these certificates could misrepresent malicious software as an authentic Microsoft product. These include, for example, programs, updates, patches, macros, and other downloads available over the Internet. The NIPC is advising all Internet users to manually approve all certificates until a patch is available and installed, which is currently under development by Microsoft." See also, VeriSign Alert and Microsoft Security Bulletin.
3/15. A U.S. District Court (CDCal) jury found a Jamie Newburn guilty of two felonies related to arranging criminal acts with a minor over the Internet. He was found guilty of one count of interstate travel with the intent to engage in criminal sezual activity and one count of using of a facility of interstate commerce (the Internet) to attempt to induce a minor to engage in criminal sezual activity. Newburn was arrested by a Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy who observed the minor walking at about midnight towards Newburn's motel. See, release.
Editor's Note: Tech Law Journal's Daily E-Mail Alert has been blocked by some mail servers as a result of news stories which reference either indecency or network security. Hence, TLJ intentionally misspells words which have caused e-mail blocking in the past.
3/19. Andrew Velcoff joined the Atlanta office of the law firm of Greenberg Traurig as a shareholder in the firm's entertainment practice. He will focus on entertainment, intellectual property and media law. He was previously SVP of legal and business affairs for Turner Entertainment Group. See, release.
3/16. Sarah Kirk joined the London office of the law firm of Arnold & Porter in the Intellectual Property and Technology section. She focuses on commercial IP/IT agreements, including those related to e-commerce, data protection, outsourcing and corporate deal support. She previously worked at Nicholson Graham & Jones in London. See, release.
10:00 AM. The Senate resumes consideration of S 27, the campaign bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). The Senate is scheduled to spend all week on this bill, again.
2:00 PM. The House meets in pro forma session.
March 26-30. The National Telephone Cooperative Association will hold its Annual Legislative Conference. Location: Hyatt Regency Washington, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington DC.
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