|4/23. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (3rdCir) issued its opinion
v. AT&T, Lucent, NCR and Texas Pacific Group,
a case regarding whether a no-hire agreement violated the
Sherman Act. In 1995 AT&T decided to sell one of its
affiliates, Paradyne, a manufacturer of network access
products for the telecom industry. To make Paradyne more
attractive to buyers, AT&T adopted a human resource plan
that placed restrictions on Paradyne employees' ability to
transfer to any other division of AT&T. Then, AT&T
reorganized into three companies, AT&T, Lucent, and NCR.
AT&T transferred ownership of Paradyne to Lucent. Paradyne
employees, now employed by Lucent, were precluded from seeking
re-employment at any other AT&T division or affiliate
after this trivestiture. Then, Lucent sold Paradyne to Texas
Pacific Group, after agreeing that it would not hire any
Paradyne employee or consultant whose annual income exceeded
$50,000 for eight months. Plaintiffs, who are former employees
of Paradyne, filed a complaint alleging violation of the
Sherman Act and the ERISA.
The District Court ruled against the plaintiffs on both
counts. The Court of Appeals upheld the District Court on the
antitrust claim, but reversed on the ERISA claim.
|4/24. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
Out Productions v. Oskar, a trademark
infringement case. Far Out Productions filed a complaint
against Howard Scott, an original member of the musical group
WAR, and other artists, alleging infringement of the federally
registered trademark WAR (Trademark Registration No.
1,169,651). Scott counterclaimed alleging fraud, conversion,
and trademark infringement. Harold Brown, another original
member of the group, filed a separate complaint against Far
Out and its president, Jerry Goldstein, alleging that they had
obtained the trademark fraudulently. The District Court
consolidated the cases, and granted summary judgment to Far
Out and Goldstein. The Appeals Court affirmed.
|4/24. The FCC received
two reply comments in its proceeding on location privacy for
mobile devices. See, comment
of the CTIA [PDF] and comment
of Cingular [PDF]. Both want the FCC to conduct a rule
making proceeding. This proceeding concerns privacy rules for
cell phones, PDAs,
in car map and traffic services, wireless tollbooth collection
e-mail pagers, Bluetooth
enabled devices, and anything with an embedded GPS chip. The CTIA
filed a petition
[PDF] with the FCC on Nov. 22, 2000, requesting a rule making
proceeding. In response, the FCC issued a Public
Notice [PDF] on March 16, 2001 requesting comments on the
CTIA's petition. The FCC received a dozen original comments on
or before April 6. (See, WT Docket No. 01-72.)
|4/23. WTO Director General
Mike Moore gave a speech
in Berlin, Germany, in which he again advocated a new trade
round. He also stated that "WTO members will never agree
to use trade sanctions to enforce labour standards. It is a
line in the sand that developing countries will not cross.
They fear that such provisions could be abused for
protectionist purposes. They also believe such matters are
more appropriately considered in other international fora."
President Bush, who is seeking fast track trade negotiating
authority from the Congress, is engaged in a debate with some
members of Congress over whether such authority should extend
to labor standards.
in Eichorn v. AT&T re no hire agreements and antitrust,
4/24 (TXT, USCA).
in Far Out Productions v. Oskar re trademark infringement,
4/24 (PDF, USCA).
re new round of trade negotiations, 4/23 (HTML, WTO).
re marketing violent electronic games, movies and songs, 4/24
|4/24. Rep. Billy
Tauzin (R-LA) and Rep.
John Dingell (D-MI), the Chairman and Ranking Democrat on
the House Commerce Committee, reintroduced their bill to
provide interLATA data relief to regional Bell companies. The
bill would exempt long distance data services from the
requirements of Section
271. The bill is titled "The Broadband Deployment Act
of 2001." Tauzin and Dingell describe their bill as a way
to promote the deployment of broadband Internet access.
Competitive local exchange carriers and long distance
companies criticize the bill. The previous version of the bill
(HR 2420, 106th Congress) had 224 cosponsors. The House Commerce Committee
will hold a hearing on the bill on April 25; it will mark up
the bill on April 26. See also, CompTel
release, and USTA
4/23. Verizon filed a Section
271 petition with the FCC
requesting permission to provide long distance service in
Connecticut. Verizon provides phone service to only two
communities in the state -- Byram and Greenwich. See, release.
4/24. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
[PDF] in Auburn v. Qwest,
a case regarding who bears the expense for a facility
relocation made necessary by right of way improvements.
4/24. A "structural separation" bill was introduced
in the Minnesota legislature. It would require Qwest to separate its retail
and wholesale operations. AT&T praised the bill. See, AT&T
release. Qwest condemned the bill. See, Qwest
|Violent Video Games
|4/20. Linda Sanders and others filed a complaint in U.S.
District Court (DColo) against 25
companies involved in the production or distribution of
violent video games. Plaintiffs, who are represented by John
DeCamp of Lincoln, Nebraska, seek class action status to sue
on behalf of victims of Columbine killers Eric Harris and
Dylan Klebold. The defendants include AOL Time Warner,
Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment, ID Software, Atari,
Sega, Virgin Interactive Media, Activision, and GT Interactive
4/24. The FTC released a follow-up
report [PDF] to its September 2000 Report titled
"Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children." The
follow-up report states that "it appears that the motion
picture and electronic game industries have taken a number of
significant steps to limit marketing violent R-rated films and
M-rated games to children and to provide parents with more
information regarding the content of their products. In
contrast, the music recording industry has not taken any
visible steps with respect to explicit-content labeled
music." The FTC will write a third report in the fall of
|Nominations & Trade
|4/24. The Senate
Banking Committee held a hearing on several nominations.
See, prepared statements of nominees, Grant
Aldonas (Under Secretary of Commerce for International
Juster (Under Secretary of Commerce for Export
Cino (Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General
of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service), and Robert
Hubbard (Council of Economic Advisors).
Kenneth Juster stated in his testimony that "It is
essential to the health of our nation's industrial and
technological base that U.S. companies be able to export their
goods, services, and technology without being hindered by
arbitrary and unnecessary export controls." However, he
added that "I fully appreciate the critical importance of
protecting this country's national security by ensuring that
our sensitive technologies do not fall into the wrong
|4/24. Sen. Kent Conrad
(D-ND) introduced the Technology Education and Training Act of
2001 (TETA). The bill would provide tax credits to businesses
that train workers in information technology skills. The bill
is cosponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. Harry Reid
(D-NV), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH).
|10:00 AM. The House
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing "The Internet
Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001." This is
the Tauzin Dingell bill to exempt interLATA data § 271
requirements. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building. The
scheduled witnesses are:
• Douglas Ashton (Bear Stearns).
• James Cicconi (AT&T).
• Joseph Gregori (InfoHighway Comms.).
• James Henry (Greenfield Hill Capital).
• Gordon Hill (EOPENY).
• Paul Mancini (SBC Management Services).
• Clark McLeod (McLeod USA).
• Charles McMinn (Covad).
• Peter Pitsh (Intel).
• Timothy Regan (Corning).
• Thomas Tauke (Verizon).
10:00 AM. The House
Science Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed research
and development budget for FY 2002. Location: Room 2318,
10:15 AM. Outgoing FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky will speak at
the American Advertising Federation 2001 Government Affairs
Conference. Location: Atlantic Video Stores, 650 Massachusetts
Ave., NW, Washington DC.
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The American
Enterprise Institute will host a panel discussion titled Instant
Messaging and the AOL - Time Warner Merger. The speakers
will be Gregory
Sidak of the AEI and Gerald Faulhaber, Chief Economist of
the FCC. See, online
registration page. Location: Wohlstetter Conference
Center, Twelfth Floor, AEI, 1150 17th St., NW, Washington DC.
Deadline to submit comments in response to the FCC's request
for comments [PDF] on five reports that it has received
regarding the potential for ultra-wideband (UWB)
transmission systems to cause harmful interference to other
radio operations. UWB devices, which use very narrow
pulses with very wide bandwidths, have potential applications
in both radar and communications technologies.
|4/24. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (6thCir) issued its opinion
v. Champion, a sentence appeal. Champion plead
guilty to four charges, including use of the Internet to
coerce and entice a minor to engage in a sexual act in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), and sexually exploiting a
minor in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a). The victim was a
13 year old girl. He appealed the District Court's
determination, during sentencing, that his offence was a
"crime of violence". The Appeals Court affirmed.
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