Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
April 23, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 171.
TLJ Home Page | News from the Web | Calendar | Search | Back Issues
Trade
4/21. President Bush gave an address at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada, in which he advocated free trade, fast track trade negotiating authority, and a new e-business fellowship program. He stated that "The United States will work for open trade at every opportunity. We will seek bilateral free trade agreements with friends and partners, such as the one we aim to complete this year with Chile. We will work for open trade globally through negotiations in the World Trade Organization. And here in the Americas, we will work hard to build an entire hemisphere that trades in freedom."
President Bush stated that "I'm committed to attaining trade promotion authority before the end of the year. I'm confident that I will get it."
President Bush also used his Quebec address to announce an electronic business fellowship program. He said that "we will sponsor the creation of the new Latin E-business Fellowship program. This will give young professionals from throughout the Americans the opportunity to learn about information technology by spending time with United States companies. It will empower them with the skills and background to bring the benefits of these technologies to their own societies."
President Bush stated in his Quebec address that "Our commitment to open trade must be matched by a strong commitment to protecting our environment and improving labor standards. Yet, these concerns must not be an excuse for self-defeating protectionism." On the previous day, the Office of the USTR announced that the Bush Administration will conduct written environmental reviews of major trade agreements. See, release. See also, USTR Robert Zoellick's April 21 press briefing.
Patent Cases
4/20. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Bristol-Meyers Squibb v. Ben Venue Laboratories, a patent case. The District Court held on summary judgment that certain claims of U.S. Patent 5,641,803 and 5,670,537, a three-hour administration of the antitumor drug paclitaxel, are not invalid for anticipation. The Appeals Court affirmed as to eight claims, and reversed as to two claims.
4/20. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Medtronic v. ACS and Guidant, a patent infringement case. Medtronic filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DMinn) against Advanced Cardiovascular Systems and Guidant alleging infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 5,653,727, which relates to intravascular coronary stents. The District Court held the various claims of this patent were not infringed by Defendants' accused product. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the District Court correctly construed the means plus function limitation of "means for connecting adjacent elements together."
New Documents
USCA: opinion in WorldCom v. FCC re application of Sec. 251 requirements to DSL service provided by ILECs, 4/20 (TXT, USCA).
Bush: address at the Summit of the Americas re free trade, fast track, and electronic business fellowships, 4/21 (HTML, State).
Milberg: complaint against Cisco Systems, 4/20 (PDF, Milberg).
Quote of the Day
"Free trade is also about freedom. Free trade reduces government barriers and encourages vibrant private and civic societies governed by the rule of law. It opens societies to people, to ideas, to debate, to competition, and also to impartial transparent rules. That freedom creates openings for the free press, for NGOs, not just for businesses and entrepreneurs. And it creates openings to the outside world through the Internet, through books, through a whole series of new networks."

USTR Robert Zoellick, April 21 press briefing in Quebec.
DSL and 251
4/20. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion in WorldCom v. FCC, a petition for review of an order of the FCC that Section 251 obligations extend to ILECs' provision of DSL service. The Court affirmed in part, and vacated and remanded in part.
Section 251 contains the interconnection requirements of the Telecom Act of 1996. It provides, among other things, that incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), such as Verizon, SBC, BellSouth, and Qwest, have a "duty to provide, to any requesting telecommunications carrier for the provision of a telecommunications service, nondiscriminatory access to network elements on an unbundled basis at any technically feasible point on rates, terms, and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory ..." It also provides that ILECs have a duty "to offer for resale at wholesale rates any telecommunications service that the carrier provides at retail to subscribers who are not telecommunications carriers". At issue is whether ILECs' digital subscriber line (DSL) service is subject to these  251 mandates.
Qwest and others requested a clarification from the FCC regarding this issue. The FCC issued a first order, which the Court of Appeals vacated and remanded. The FCC then issued an a second order (see, In re Deployment of Wireline Services Offering Advanced Telecommunications Capability, 15 F.C.C.R. 385 (1999)) which is the subject of this Petition for Review. In this second order the FCC ruled that DSL based advanced services are subject to  251(c) obligations on two theories: first, on the definition of "local exchange carrier", and second, on the definitions of "telephone exchange service" and "exchange access". The Appeals Court vacated and remanded the FCC's classification of DSL based advanced services as "telephone exchange service" or "exchange access." However, the Court denied Qwest's claim that ILECs can be subject to  251(c) duties only with respect to the provision of "telephone exchange service" or "exchange access".
Judge Stephen Williams wrote the opinion; Judges David Sentelle and Judith Rogers joined.
Crime
4/18. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (WDKent) returned a superceding indictment against Kurtis Cullen and Bruce Zak charging conspiracy to steal trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, and wire fraud. The indictment states that defendants engaged in a scheme to buy a proprietary computer source code from an employee of ZirMed.com. See, release.
4/17. Kenneth Walton plead guilty in U.S. District Court (EDCal) to three counts of wire fraud and four counts of mail fraud for making fraudulent or shill bids on eBay. Scott Beach plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud. A third defendant in this case, Kenneth Fetterman, is a fugitive. See, release.
4/16. The U.S. District Court (DOr) sentenced Jeffrey Stockton to serve 12 months and one day in prison based upon his conviction for criminal copyright infringement. Stockton willfully infringed copyrights of Adobe Systems for purposes of private financial gain by selling unlicensed copies over the Internet.
Securities Class Action
4/20. The Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 572 Pension Fund filed a complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Cisco and several of its officers and directors alleging violation of federal securities laws. Plaintiff, which is represented by the law firm of Milberg Weiss and others, seeks class action status. The one count complaint alleges violation of Section 10b and Rule 10b-5. Milberg Weiss is a law firm that files class action securities suits against technology companies when their stock prices drop. It has also recently filed suits against Amazon, AT&T, Broadcom, Covad, Deutsche Telekom, Gateway, Macromedia, Nortel, Oracle, and many other companies.
Appointments
4/20. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Robert Flores to be Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Flores is currently the VP and Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families. He also served on the COPA Commission. He is one of the leading proponents of prosecuting obscenity on the Internet, and requiring schools and libraries receiving e-rate subsidies to use filtering technology. However, the OJJDP is not a prosecutorial office; it collects and disseminates information, and provides grants and other assistant to state and local authorities. It also has no authority regarding the e-rate. See, release.
4/20. The FTC appointed Molly Boast Director of its Bureau of Competition, which enforces antitrust laws. She was Senior Deputy Director of the Bureau from July 1999 through January 2001, and has been the Acting Director since then. See, FTC release. Commissioner Orson Swindle wrote a dissent in which he praised Boast, but stated that "even if Chairman Pitofsky's appointment of Molly Boast as Bureau Director was not intended to frustrate a smooth transition at the FTC, it surely could have that result." He elaborated that "it is no secret that Ms. Boast has informed the Commission and the staff of her intention to leave the agency soon. Second, the President recently announced his intention to nominate Timothy Muris as FTC Chairman."
More News
4/20. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball submitted a comment [PDF] to the FCC in response to its Notice of Inquiry regarding interactive TV over cable facilities. It argued that the FCC should not regulate the market for iTV services and platforms at this time, but if it does, it should avoid regulations which have an effect on the intellectual property rights of content owners.
4/19. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in GE v. US, an appeal of a Customs Service classification. GE challenged the U.S. Customs Service's classification of multi format cameras which were for use solely with computerized tomography x-ray scanners. The U.S. Court of International Trade granted summary judgment to the Customs Service. The Appeals Court reversed.
4/20. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DC Cir) heard oral argument in National Public Radio v. FCC, Appeal No. 00-1246.
4/20. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee held a meeting to continue preparations for the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference.
4/20. The FCC published in its web site a copy [PDF] of the presentation on digital TV made at the Thursday, April 19 meeting of the FCC.
4/12. The Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China granted the Seattle based law firm of Perkins Coie authorization to open an office in Beijing. See, release.
About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal is a free access web site and e-mail alert that provides news, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer and Internet industry. This e-mail service is offered free of charge to anyone who requests it. Just provide TLJ an e-mail address.

Number of subscribers: 1,402.

Contact: 202-364-8882; E-mail.
P.O. Box 15186, Washington DC, 20003.

Privacy Policy

Notices & Disclaimers

Copyright 1998 - 2001 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.