|Rogan May Head USPTO
|4/30. Roll Call, a
Capitol Hill daily, published a story
that states that President Bush will nominate former Rep.
James Rogan (R-CA) to be head of the USPTO. Rogan
lost his bid for re-election last November. Rogan has also
considered a run for Congress in the 47th District, which is
currently represented by Rep.
Chris Cox (R-CA). Cox is being considered by President
Bush for nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir).
Rogan was a key player in the Congress in protecting the
economic interests of the entertainment industry. He had been
a member of the House
Judiciary Committee, and its Courts and Intellectual
Property Subcommittee, and the House Commerce Committee, and
its Telecom Subcommittee. In the 106th Congress (1999-2000) he
1761, the Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999, which
became law. He was also involved in the passage of anti
cybersquatting legislation. See also, TLJ 1999
Biography of Rogan.
|4/23. Todd Dickinson, former head of the USPTO,
joined the Washington DC office of the law firm of Howrey Simon as a
partner and head of the firm's Intellectual Property Group's
licensing, counseling, prosecution and patent portfolio
management practice. See, release.
|Pitofsky to Rejoin Arnold
|4/30. Robert Pitofsky, President Clinton's Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, will
soon leave the FTC to return to his former law firm, Arnold & Porter,
and to teach at Georgetown
University Law Center. The FTC released the following statement:
"Chairman Robert Pitofsky today reiterated his intention
to resign as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission upon
confirmation of his successor, but announced his intention to
depart regardless of the timing of confirmation of a successor
in early June of this year. Chairman Pitofsky will return to
his position as a member of the faculty at Georgetown
University Law Center, and also will resume as
"Counsel" to the Washington law firm of Arnold &
Porter." See also, Arnold & Porter release.
President Bush has already nominated Timothy Muris to be the
new FTC Chairman. Muris is currently a professor at George Mason University School
of Law. He held several top positions at the FTC during
the Reagan administration.
|4/26. Douglas Melamed rejoined the Washington DC
office of the law firm of Wilmer
Cutler & Pickering as a partner in the firm's
Antitrust and Competition Practice Group. He was previously
briefly the Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the
Justice Department's Antitrust
Division. Before that he was the Principle Deputy
Assistant Attorney General. His responsibilities included the
Microsoft cases. See, release
|More People and
|4/30. President Bush formally nominated several persons,
including Kevin Martin and Kathleen Abernathy to
be FCC Commissioners, Bruce Mehlman to be Assistant
Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, and James
Jochum to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce. Bush had
previously announced that he would make each of these
nominations. See, White House release.
4/30. Cinnamon Rogers will join the NCTA
as Legislative Counsel in the Government Relations Department.
She was previously Senior Policy Advisor to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
Prior to that, she was Director of Congressional Affairs for
And before that, she was an associate at the law firm of Sher
& Blackwell in the firm's Legislative Affairs practice.
She also worked for former Rep. Thomas Manton (D-NY), who was
a member of the House
Commerce Committee. See, NCTA
4/30. Cliff Riccio will join the NCTA as Manager of
Government Relations. He was previously a Legislative Analyst
for the House Commerce Committee. See, NCTA
|Grassley Addresses Trade
and Tax Issues
|4/30. Sen. Charles
Grassley (R-IA) gave a speech
in Washington DC to the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce in which he addressed a wide range of
tax and trade issues. He advocated giving the President fast
track trade negotiating authority. "On trade
promotion authority, I want to see the Finance Committee mark
up and approve a bill this summer. Then Congress could approve
final legislation by the year's end. Action this year is
critical. We'd have trouble taking up a political hot potato
like this in an election year. This year is our best chance
until 2003. The Finance Committee has a unique opportunity to
mark up this trade bill in June. We hope to finish our work on
taxes in May. In July, we plan to take up prescription drugs
and other issues. That means June is our ideal trade
He also stated that "I'm opposed to requiring sanctions
to enforce labor and environmental provisions in trade
agreements. However, there are several options worth
considering. On renewing trade promotion authority, the 1988
Act is a good model. The 1988 Act set out a series of key
negotiating objectives, including one relating to worker
rights. It required the President to tell Congress how the
implementing bill he submitted makes progress on achieving
Sen. Grassley also touched on depreciation, the R&D
tax credit, and the Internet tax moratorium. He
stated that "We also need to update our depreciation
rules". However, he offered no elaboration. There is a
bill in the House, HR
1411, sponsored by Rep.
Jerry Weller (R-IL), that would allow expensing, rather
than depreciation, of certain computer and software purchases.
Sen. Grassley also stated that "The President wants to
make permanent the Research and Experimentation Credit."
However, he did not state his view, or predict what the Senate
Finance Committee would do. Finally, he stated that "The
tax moratorium on electronic commerce expires this fall."
Again, he offered no further comment.
|4/30. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its unpublished opinion
4 v. Landis & Gyr, a case involving the
Maryland Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Both System 4 and Landis
and Gyr (LG) make and install software based building
automation systems to control heating, ventilation, air
conditioning, lighting and access systems. The National
Gallery of Art in Washington DC solicited bids for renovation
of its systems. Both System 4 and LG submitted bids and
supporting documents. The Gallery then withdrew its
solicitation. It returned System 4's bid documents to LG,
which read the contents. System 4 then filed a complaint
against LG. The District Court granted LG's motion for summary
judgment. The Appeals Court affirmed on the basis that LG's
acquisition of the documents was inadvertent, and it had not
made use any trade secrets.
|4/30. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Lockheed
Martin v. Space Systems/Loral, a patent
infringement case. Lockheed
is the assignee of U.S.
Patent No. 4,084,772, which discloses an apparatus and
method for steering a satellite. Lockheed filed a complaint in
U.S. District Court (NDCal)
against Space Systems/Loral
(SSL) alleging that SSL satellites infringe the '772 patent.
The District Court determined that certain limitations
required by claim 1 of the '772 Patent are not present in
SSL's Intelsat VII satellites either literally or under the
doctrine of equivalents, and granted SSL's motion for summary
judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed.
re trade and taxes, 4/30 (HTML, TLJ).
in System 4 v. Landis & Gyr, a case involving the Maryland
Uniform Trade Secrets Act, 4/30 (HTML, USCA).
to FTC, FCC, HHS, Commerce, and Treasury, 4/30 (HTML, EPIC).
|4/30. The Commerce Department
announced that it would create a privacy advisor position. House Majority Leader Dick
Armey (R-TX) praised the action. "For too long, our
government has ignored the privacy problems in its own
backyard. This key agency recognizes that fixing these
problems is something the American people expect and deserve.
Government has an obligation to set the best example on
privacy. I hope other agencies will follow Secretary Evans'
4/30. The Electronic Privacy
Information Center (EPIC) submitted Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) requests
to five federal departments and agencies. The EPIC stated in
its web site that this is part of an "effort to determine
the Bush Administration's commitment to privacy protection
within its first 100 days." The requests were submitted
to the FTC, FCC, Commerce Department, Treasury Department, and
Health and Human Services Department. However, no requests
were submitted to the Justice Department, or any of its
divisions or bureaus. The DOJ is central to the debate over
many privacy issues, including CALEA, the proposed EC Cyber
Crime treaty, and legislative proposals regarding search and
seizure in the context of electronic communications. Two
requests were sent to each of the five departments and
agencies. One requests "all appointment books, calendars,
and other scheduling records" for certain named top
officials at each department or agency. The other requests
"all Bush administration transition team memoranda and
all documents implementing policy recommendations from
transition team memoranda." Hence, the requests are
broad. And notably, none of the FOIA requests specifically
asks for documents pertaining to privacy. The requests were
submitted by Chris Hoofnagle, Staff Counsel for EPIC. See
|4/30. Novell and Cambridge Technology Partners announced
that early termination of the waiting period under the Hart
Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act has been granted. The
two companies previously announced their proposed merger. See,
|10:00 AM. The Senate
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce,
Justice, State, and the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the Department
of Commerce FY 2002 budget. The witness will be Donald
Evans, Secretary of Commerce. Location: Room S-146, Capitol
12:30 - 1:30 PM. Jerry Kent, P/CEO of Charter Communications,
will give a luncheon address titled "We're Making
Broadband Happen." Location: NCTA Headquarters, 1724
Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington DC. RSVP to Lori Chang at
202-775-3629. See also, release.
1:30 - 5:00 PM. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's
Technology Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting. See,
in the Federal Register, April 16, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 73, at
Page 19429. Location: Room 1000, CFTC, Three Lafayette Centre,
1155 21st Street, NW, Washington DC.
2:30 PM. FTC Commissioner Thomas Leary will give a
speech to a Brookings Institution group titled "Business
and Public Policy." Location: FTC, 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW, Room 432, Washington DC.
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