Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
May 30, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 197.
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Pitofsky Resigns, Effective May 31
5/29. Robert Pitofsky, the outgoing Chairman of the FTC, wrote a letter to President Bush in which he stated, "I tender my resignation as Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, effective May 31, 2001." President Bush has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed, Timothy Muris to replace him.
5/28. The ICANN published in its web site a document titled "Discussion Draft: A Unique, Authoritative Root for the DNS."
Appeals Court Rules in ASC v. IBM
5/29. The U.S. Court of Appeals (8thCir) issued its opinion in American Shizuki Corp. v. IBM, a case involving a dispute over IBM's purchase from ASC of plastic film capacitors to be used by IBM in its mainframe computers. ASC wanted IBM to purchase more capacitors manufactured by ASC. However, IBM never promised that it would purchase any specific quantity of capacitors. ASC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (DNeb) in June 1997 against IBM based upon diversity jurisdiction, in which it sought $8.5 Million in damages under three theories of relief: promissory estoppel, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent misrepresentation. The District Court granted IBM's motion for summary judgment. The Appeals Court affirmed, two to one.
Federal Circuit Opinions
5/25. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in SKF USA v. U.S., an antidumping case involving the obligation of a court to remand a case to an administrative agency upon the agency's change in policy or statutory interpretation. The Appeals Court held that the Court of International Trade erred in declining to remand the case to the Department of Commerce, and reversed that court's decision in SKF USA Inc. v. United States, 77 F. Supp. 2d 1335 (CIT 1999).
5/24. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Budde v. Harley Davidson, a patent infringement case involving fuel injection systems in reciprocating engines. Budde, the holder of U.S. Patent No. 4,955,348, filed a complaint for patent infringement in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Harley Davidson. The District Court entered a judgment of non-infringement. The Appeals Court vacated the judgment, and remanded.
Software Defined Radio
5/29. The NTIA submitted a reply comment to the FCC in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [PDF] titled "In the Matter of Authorization and Use of Software Defined Radios". (See, ET Docket No. 00-47.)
New Documents
Pitofsky: resignation letter, 5/29 (HTML, FTC).
ICANN: discussion draft re a unique, authoritative root for the DNS, 5/29 (HTML, ICANN).
Jackovich: speech re global corruption, 5/29 (HTML, State).
USCA: opinion in American Shizuki Corp. v. IBM, 5/29 (HTML, USCA).
Globalization, Internet, and Government Corruption
5/29. A conference titled "Global Forum on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity" is being held from May 28 through 31 at the Ministry of Justice in Hague, Netherlands. U.S. Ambassador Victor Jackovich gave a speech on May 29 in which he addressed the role of globalization, the Internet and electronic funds transfers in government corruption.
Jackovich stated that globalization, which he defined as "more rapid communication, easier international travel and more technological innovation -- has given the purveyors of crime and corruption some potent tools. For this reason, corruption and criminality can permeate an entire state apparatus and present formidable cross-border threats." He continued that "the stability and security of the most vulnerable of states is of vital interest to the stability and security of the entire international community. We are only as strong as our weakest link. In our modern age of instant transference of funds and rapid exchange of information via the Internet, the world's inter- connectivity has grown and developed at a pace never before experienced. Even if we wanted, we could not consign criminality and corruption to certain states or societies and give as the excuse that these problems are endemic or natural in those parts of the world. Under these circumstances, it is clear that we must work together ..."
Jackovich is the Associate Director of the George Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch- Partenkirchen, Germany. See also, statement by President Bush and statement by Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs.
Web Sites and Broker Dealer Registration
5/24. The SEC issued an administrative cease and desist order against Paul Nortman in connection with his operation of, an online trading software provider. The SEC determined that acted as an unregistered broker- dealer in violation of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. See, SEC release.
Computer and Internet Crimes
5/29. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (NDCal) returned an indictment [PDF] against Robert Robb charging 10 counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 and one count extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. 875(b). The indictment states that Robb made false statements to investors regarding his online gambling companies, and Millennium Networks, which made multplayer gambling games that could be played at casinos, or over the Internet. Among the false representations was that Microsoft President Steve Ballmer had agreed to pay $50 Million for patents to the games. The false statements were made "by means of wire communication in interstate commerce" -- i.e., by e-mail. AUSA David Callaway is the Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case. See, release.
5/24. The U.S. District Court (NDCal) sentenced Roger Guerroro to one year in prison for using a computer in interstate commerce in an attempt to coerce and entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual acts in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2422(b). Guerrero will also be subject to restrictions, including prohibitions on unsupervised use of computers or the Internet. See, indictment [PDF] and release.
R&D Tax Credit
5/29. The Conference Report on HR 1836, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, which passed the House on May 25, and the Senate on May 26, does not contain language making the research and development tax credit permanent. An earlier Senate version of the bill did include this provision. There are also stand alone bills pending in the House and Senate that would permanently extend the R&D tax credit. See, S 41 and HR 41, so numbered because they would amend Section 41 of the Internet Revenue Code. See also, S 515 and HR 1137.
9:00 AM. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans will speak at the National Economic Development Forum Location: Washington Hilton and Towers, International Ballroom, 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington DC. See, release.
2:30 PM. The Jonathan Zuck, President of the Association for Competitive Technology, Boyden Gray, of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, and Lars Liebeler, Antitrust Counsel for the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), will host a conference call regarding the report [PDF] issued by ProComp on May 15 which alleges that " Microsoft has ... introduced a series of business initiatives that put Microsoft in a position to extend its monopoly to the Internet itself."
5:30 - 7:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's Common Carrier Practice Committee will host a CLE Seminar titled Telecom 201. The scheduled speakers are Cheryl Tritt (Morrison & Foerster), Charles Kennedy (Morrison & Foerster), Jane Jackson (Chief of the FCC's Competitive Pricing Division), John Nakahata (Harris Wiltshire & Grannis), Kathy Levitz (BellSouth), and Jeffrey Linder (Wiley Rein & Fielding). The price to attend is $60 (members) or $80 (non-members). RSVP to Arlice Johnson at Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 10th Floor Conference Room, 1750 K Street, NW, Washington DC.
Deadline to file reply comments with the FCC in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding revisions to the method of subsidizing schools and libraries under its e-rate program when there is insufficient funding to support all requests. See, Federal Register, May 8, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 89, at Pages 23204 - 23208.
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